Woman who Ran Down NYPD Officer in 2021 Gets Maximum Sentence

Feb. 22, 2024
NYPD Det. Anastasio Tsakos was directing traffic at a Queens crash scene when he was fatally struck by Jessica Beauvais, who was impaired at the time and had recorded a podcast denouncing police hours earlier.

A Long Island woman who fatally struck an NYPD Highway officer in Queens in 2021 while drunk, high and driving with a suspended license was hit with the maximum sentence on Wednesday, with the judge telling her she would “certainly have enough time” to reflect while in prison.

Jessica Beauvais, 35, who led cops on a wild chase after mowing down Det. Anastasios Tsakos, 43, on the Long Island Expressway on April 27, was sentenced to 23 and a third to 27 years on charges of aggravated manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident without reporting.

The trial, which began in October, lasted 13 days. Beauvais appeared in court Wednesday wearing beige jail garb as the room was packed with dozens of officers, Tsakos’ loved ones and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Irene Tsakos, the detective’s wife, recalled the horror she felt when she learned her husband had died.

“My world came crashing down,” she said through tears. “I couldn’t speak, I was in shock. The pain I felt made my body weak.”

The widow described how she told her son and daughter, then 3 and 6, that their father, “their favorite person” was gone.

“Our son wanted me to get him a big kite so he could fly it high in the sky and daddy could grab it and bring it back to him,” she said.

“At night she would pray and promise to God she would be very good if only he would return her dad,” she said of her daughter.

Hours before striking the 14-year veteran officer as he directed traffic around the scene of a fatal car accident, Beauvais recorded a two-hour podcast denouncing cops in the wake of the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd.

“What bothered me is that we had to go through a trial to prove that George Floyd didn’t f—ing kill himself,” Beauvais fumed during the podcast. “If you were afraid for your life, go be a secretary at Walmart.”

Tsakos’ widow referenced the screed during her remarks.

“I want to say that you cannot think, speak and spread hate out into the word and expect good things to happen to you,” Irene Tsakos said, addressing Beauvais. “You killed my husband, an innocent man, a good man who did nothing to you. That’s on your conscience. You have no one but yourself to blame. You truly earned every day you will spend in prison.”

Assistant District Attorney Greg Lasak said Beauvais stayed at a recording studio until 1:30 a.m and surveillance footage showed her stumbling to her car when she left, being helped by others. She hit Tsakos about half an hour later with such speed and force that he flew 170 feet, said prosecutors. Fleeing police, she blew through red lights, drove the wrong way in a residential neighborhood and up onto a sidewalk.

“Criminal decision after criminal decision,” said Lasak. “He died in his blue NYPD uniform facedown on the side of the Long Island Expressway with his face in the dirt and the grass.”

One of Tsakos’ legs was severed due to the impact, Beauvais’ windshield shattered and the front end of the car was crushed.

“We say that people are more and better than the worst thing they have ever said or done,” said Peter Laumann, a defense lawyer for Beauvais, pointing out that the defendant was the single mother of a teen, caretaker for her father during cancer treatments, and that both parents were in the courtroom.

He added that Beauvais worked in phlebotomy during the pandemic, risking infection by going into patients’ homes, and was intensely religious.

“She is not someone who spread hatred,” said Laumann. “This was not an intentional killing as we see so many times in this courthouse. This was a result of drunk and intoxicated driving.”

When asked by Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise if she had anything she wanted to say to the court, Beauvais could barely get out the words.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Tsakos. I’m sorry,” she said quietly before her lawyer Jorge Edwardo Santos took over for her.

“She wants to express that she’s very sorry to Detective Tsakos’ family and to the entire NYPD,” said Santos.

“In my opinion, leniency was shown in the presentation to the grand jury,” said Aloise, noting that they had not charged Beauvais with depraved indifference homicide. “I would have given her life.”

“You are not to be judged for the worst thing you have ever done, but you are to be judged for how you react to that thing,” he added.


©2024 New York Daily News.

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