A drunken off-duty cop lost control of his SUV and drove straight into a group of friends walking down a sidewalk in Brooklyn early Saturday, killing one and seriously injuring three others, according to police.
Witnesses said Officer Nicholas Batka, whose vehicle was speeding and swerving in the seconds before impact, flashed his badge and tried to flee the scene after the 3 a.m. crash.
One victim had a leg torn off in the gruesome wreck, and another was impaled on a railing in the deadly pile-up just four hours before rookie cop Batka was due on the job, police said.
“The EMTs had to get a saw to remove the man impaled on the railing,” said witness Jaminah Kang, 35. “Another man (looked) like he took a chainsaw to the knee.”
As the mangled victims writhed in agony a few feet away, Batka tried to bolt from the crash, witnesses said. The cop first attempted to throw the SUV in reverse — but instead kept going forward.
“Please help me!” one anguished victim is heard howling in a video shot at the scene. “My leg is gone!”
When the officer tried to climb out of the vehicle, a passerby held the SUV’s door shut until police arrived.
“It was unreal,” said Kang, who called 911. “It was like an episode of TV come to life.”
The cellphone video shows Batka sitting in the passenger’s seat as chaos rages around him. A man in a red shirt wags a finger at the cop and holds the door closed.
“Don’t let him get out!” someone shouts. “He’s going to run away!”
Batka was charged with DWI and suspended from the force, NYPD Inspector Scott Shanley told reporters at the scene. The officer refused to take a Breathalyzer test, sources told the Daily News.
He was later hit with charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and assault.
The victims were walking past a Bedford Ave. townhouse in Williamsburg when Batka lost control of his gray 2012 Dodge Durango and careened into the pedestrians.
“I ran over and this girl’s leg was in half,” said Ryan Carpenter, 27, who was heading home when he spied the bloody crash scene.
“I took my shirt off and tried to stop her from bleeding while trying to calm her. She kept screaming.”
An employee from the Bedford Gourmet Food store across the street rushed over with ice and towels.
“I didn’t know what to do,” said the store worker, who declined to give his name. “Everyone panicked. (The driver) was trying to back out too and kept going into the building. People were holding the driver from leaving.”
A man struck by the SUV died after EMTs rushed him to Bellevue Hospital, police said. His name was not immediately released.
Two victims were also taken to Bellevue, while a third went to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, cops said.
Additional charges are pending against Batka, who joined the NYPD in January 2015 and worked for the Manhattan Transit Task Force.
“His last day of work was July 12 and he was supposed to be at work at 7 a.m. this morning,” said Shanley.
Kudos to the brave citizens who wouldn’t let the officer leave his car. Who knows how he would’ve been able to spin the story had he gotten away — you know how cops like to do.