NYPD cop is posthumously promoted to detective at funeral after he was killed by ‘drunk driver’
The NYPD cop killed in the line of duty by an apparent drunk driver who filmed herself saying ‘f**k the police’ and downing shots before embarking on a deadly hit-and-run has been posthumously promoted to detective at his funeral.
Hundreds of mourners gathered Tuesday morning to pay their respects to NYPD Highway Officer Anastasios Tsakos at St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church in Greenlawn, New York, as his grieving widow Irene gave an emotional tribute to the ‘love of my life’ and the ‘awesome dad’ to their two yougn children.
His 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son watched as their father’s casket was carried out of the church by NYPD pall bearers to be greeted by a sea of law enforcement comrades.
Tsakos, a 43-year-old married father of two and 14-year veteran cop, died last Tuesday when Jessica Beauvais, 32, plowed into him in her Volkswagen on the Long Island Expressway.
The traffic cop was redirecting vehicles following a separate fatal car accident in Queens when Beauvais’ car allegedly veered and struck him head on, hurtling him around 200 feet. He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Beauvais, who was allegedly intoxicated and driving with a suspended license at the time, allegedly sped away from the scene with a ‘completely shattered’ windshield before being stopped by police.
Police said she was almost double the legal alcohol limit at the time and later confessed to drinking wine, vodka and smoking marijuana before getting behind the wheel of her car.
Later that day, she was led out of the NYPD’s 107th Precinct in handcuffs sobbing that she was ‘sorry that I hit him and that he’s dead.’
Hours before the fatal encounter, Beauvais posted a rambling video of herself on Facebook Live where she said police officers are ‘signing up for potential death’ as part of the job and boasted about carrying a knife while drinking unknown liquids throughout the footage.
She now faces 13 charges including manslaughter in the second degree, aggravated manslaughter in the second degree, vehicular manslaughter in the second degree and leaving the scene of an incident without reporting/death. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Irene Tsakos and her two children after the funeral held for her husband who died last week in the line of duty
A police car honoring fallen NYPD Police officer Anastosios Tsakos at the church where the service was held in Greenlawn
NYPD pall bearers carry the casket out of the church after the funeral services for the NYPD cop killed in the line of duty by an apparent drunk driver
The officer’s wife and two children gathered for the service. His grieving widow gave an emotional tribute to the ‘love of my life’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke at the service where he paid tribute to the fallen officer as a ‘true hero’
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea spoke at Tuesday’s nearly two-hour service which was limited to 180 attendees due to the pandemic.
Dozens more gathered outside the church with the streets around the area a sea of blue as fellow police officers and community members paid their respects to the fallen officer.
Tsakos lay in an open casket in the church flanked by large portraits and floral wreaths including one depicting the Greek and American flags in honor of the Greek native who moved to the US and became a law enforcement officer.
His work and personal motorcycles were also taken to the service for the keen motorcyclist.
During the service, Shea announced he was posthumously promoting Tsakos to detective first grade and presented a gold detective shield to his wife Irene.
Shea praised the officer who had made almost 200 arrests during his career and would chase down drunk drivers in the pursuit of justice.
‘He was the one you were grateful to arrive at the scene, the one you could always rely on,’ Shea said.
‘He was the one who always asked ‘what else could I do?… He always hated that anyone would get away with anything on his shift, when it was his responsibility.’
The NYPD boss described Tsakos as ‘the perfect depiction of the American dream’ after he moved from Greece for a new life in the US.
‘He absolutely was a great cop. Taso was, from beginning to end, a very intelligent and hardworking man,’ he said.
‘He was the envy of his peers. He was really a perfect picture of the American dream. An example of our nation´s great diversity.
‘Also, an example of the extraordinary call to service that so many courageous New Yorkers embrace.’
Tsakos, a 43-year-old married father of two and 14-year veteran cop, died last Tuesday when Jessica Beauvais, 32, plowed into him in her Volkswagen on the Long Island Expressway
The officer’s name is spelled out in paper cups along the fence at the High School in Greenlawn, New York
A huge American flag is raised for the funeral one week after he died while redirecting traffic on the LIE
Family members arrive for the funeral Tuesday morning at St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church in Greenlawn
Mourners become emotional as they bid farewell to the veteran cop at his funeral service Tuesday in New York
Tsakos grew up in Greece and New York City, before serving in the Greek army after high school.
He then went on to work in his father’s diner on Long Island, before studying aviation in college to follow his dreams of flying helicopters for the NYPD, Shea said. The officer and his family had just moved to East Northport last year.
De Blasio spoke of Tsakos’ ‘heroism’ and hit out at his tragic loss of life.
‘It does not make sense how someone could live his life right in every way and be taken from us so horribly,’ he told mourners.
‘But his heroism uplifts us. Some people are true heroes. Some people are there for others. And that in every way was Anastasios Tsakos.’
Tsakos’ widow Irene also gave an emotional speech to mourners inside the church where she told how he was an adoring father to their 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea posthumously promoted Tsakos (pictured) to detective first grade on Tuesday
She recalled how he would help their children build houses out of cardboard boxes and let their daughter play hairdresser with his hair.
He had dreams of winning the lottery so he could buy a small plane and they could travel the world as a family, she said.
‘I will miss everything about him. Everything. Most of all, I will miss his hugs,’ said Irene.
‘I wish he had more time – to watch our kids grow, see them off to college and get married. I wish we could grow old together. That was the plan. But he was taken from us too soon.’
She choked back tears as she said their two children will now have to grow up without their father.
‘And now our kids will grow up without their dad, without their awesome dad. They will never forget. I will make sure of that,’ she said.
She described him as the ‘love of my life’ and told him ‘I hope I made you proud’.
Irene was supported by her husband’s parents and other family members who flew in from Greece to say goodbye to the 43-year-old.
This marked the second day of memorial services for Tsakos after thousands attended a viewing Monday as the fallen officer’s body was brought to the church.
Fellow NYPD officers lined the entrance and saluted as he was brought into the church.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation, which was set up in the wake of September 11 to provide support to families of fallen first responders, has said it will pay for the remainder of the mortgage on the family’s home.
According to the criminal complaint, Beauvais was speeding along the Long Island Expressway in her 2013 Volkswagen in the early hours of May 27.
She allegedly ignored the traffic cones and the flashing lights of police cars set up to direct traffic away from another fatal crash scene where one passenger died.
Her vehicle swerved around other cars and struck Tsakos head on, throwing him around 200 feet to land on the grass by the side of the road, prosecutors say.
Hundreds of mourners gathered Tuesday morning to pay their respects to NYPD Highway Officer Anastasios Tsakos at St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church in Greenlawn, New York
A police procession on motorcycles for Tsakos who was a keen motorcyclist as well as doting father of two
His family follow behind the pall bearers as they carry his casket out of the church following the funeral service
Beauvais then allegedly sped off in her car passing several exits before coming off the expressway where she mounted a curb.
As police officers surrounded her vehicle, the alleged drunk driver reversed into a police car behind her in an effort to flee again, prosecutors say.
32-year-old Jessica Beauvais, of Hempstead, pictured in mug
Beauvais claimed not to have known she had hit a person, the complaint states.
‘What did I do? I heard a thump, I knew I hit something, but I didn’t know what it was,’ she allegedly told the arresting officers.
She also allegedly fumed at the officers: ‘F**k you. I don’t have to listen to you.’
She later told officers she had two glasses of wine before taking her son to Hempstead, then smoked a joint, downed two shots of 1800 Patron Tequila and drank a bottle of wine during her podcast, the criminal complaint states.
It is not clear what speed she was driving at at the time but Shea said last week he believes the damage done to her car shows ‘there was no way she didn’t know that she had struck an individual.’
Photos of her car show the front windshield smashed and the bonnet caved in from where the car struck the officer.
In the hours leading up to the incident, Beauvais posted livestream on her Facebook page as part of her Face the Reality radio show where she addressed the trial of white ex-cop Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, slammed police officers and the justice system and played N.W.A song ‘F**k Tha Police’.
In the rambling post, she told her social media followers she likes guns because ‘they’re pretty’ and ranted about being pro capital punishment, while she said ‘potential death’ is just ‘part of the job’ for cops.
Investigators survey the vehicle that struck and killed New York City Police Department Officer Anastasios Tsakos
Jessica Beauvais, 32, (left) of Hempstead is walked out of the 107th Precinct in Queens last Tuesday after allegedly striking and killing NYPD officer Anastasios Tsakos (right) on the Long Island Expressway
Jessica Beauvais, 32, faces 13 charges after allegedly striking NYPD police officer with her car on the Long island Expressway
Throughout the video, Beauvais is seen vaping and drinking an unknown dark liquid from a plastic cup and, at one point, washes down the contents of a red shot glass with a bottle of Snapple.
Beauvais begins the 1 hour 51 minute Facebook Live video, speaking about Chauvin’s trial.
‘This week we are going to talk about the ignorance that was the Derek Chauvin trial – or the ignorance that is essentially just is this f**ing justice system,’ she says.
‘Police say an oath and in that oath they say an oath that they are not supposed to be afraid of that position and that is literally in the rules.’
Chauvin was found guilty on all charges for the Memorial Day murder of George Floyd last year after he knelt on the black man’s neck for more than nine minutes until he died.
Beauvais reads out part of an oath taken by members of law enforcement that they will ‘enforce the law courteously, appropriately, without fear, malice or ill will’ and questions how this had led to officers ‘shooting and killing people on the streets.’
The 32-year-old then went on to say that police officers are ‘signing up for potential death like in the army’ and that it is ‘part of the job’ that people ‘might try to f**king kill you.’
‘If you said that you were signing up for this dangerous job and part of that dangerous job is that you are not supposed to be afraid – as part of that job is that people might try to f**king kill you,’ she says.
‘That’s what you’re signing up for – potential death like in the army. That’s what you signed up for.’
Mourners hold up signs paying tribute to the fallen officer. On Monday thousands gathered to see his casket brought to the church
Officers from other forces also gathered on their motorbikes to pay tribute to their law enforcement colleague
Police officers pay their respects outside the church which was limited to 180 attendees inside due to the pandemic
A floral display reads Blue Lives Matter outside the church where New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea spoke to mourners
Mourners gather outside the church Tuesday morning with the streets around the area a sea of blue as fellow police officers and community members paid their respects to the fallen officer
Officers gather outside the church where Tsakos lay in an open casket flanked by large portraits and floral wreaths including one depicting the Greek and American flags in honor of the Greek native who moved to the US and became a cop
Beauvais also claimed that if she ever had a fatal encounter with police, she would make sure she wasn’t the only victim.
She told listeners: ‘Like (hip hop group) NWA say about the police – if you’re going to kill me, at least I get to take someone with me.
‘I’m one of those people. If I’m going to go, someone is coming.’
In the footage, she also spoke about her love of ‘weapons’ comparing herself to the fictional DC character Harley Quinn and saying she always carries a knife.
‘I’m for guns. I like guns. I like them – they’re pretty,’ she says at one point where she is having a discussion with a male off camera.
‘Maybe I’m a little Harley Quinn on the brain. I like weapons. I carry a knife with me everywhere I go. That shit is normally on my hip but I got this thing here so I can’t do that.
‘I like weapons, because you’re not going to try me. I got tried once in my life when I was very young and I didn’t know no better. B**ch you’re not going to try me again in my life as I fight n***as too.
‘We can fight the police too. If you’re going to shoot me, get it over with. What I’m saying is you’re not going to try me while I’m still breathing.’
She went on to say a ‘taser’ is ‘not cute like a gun’ as she questions how a cop can confuse the two devices – in reference to the police killing of Daunte Wright by a white cop who allegedly mistook the two.
‘I know 13-year-olds from the hood that know a taser from a gun,’ she says.
Beauvais says she is ‘terrified’ for her 13-year-old son ‘don’t f**king play with me.’
Cops comfort each other as they say goodbye to one of their own who died last Tuesday during a hit-and-run
At the service wife Irene (pictured with their two young children) paid tribute to her husband saying she hoped she ‘did him proud’
Suffolk County officers from the Sherriff’s Department line up outside the church for the funeral of the fallen NYPD officer
Mourners become emotional outside the church. Tsakos’ wife was supported by her husband’s family who flew from Greece
Police officers carry the casket of Tsakos. His work and personal motorcycles were also taken to the service for the keen motorcyclist
Beauvais goes on to say she doesn’t ‘believe in prisons’ but believes in capital punishment saying ‘hang that b**ch.’
‘I don’t even believe in prisons. I literally believe in the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. If you guilty, blow his head off,’ she says.
‘F**k is you here for. Why I gotta feed you? For what? Y’all killing us for less, on the streets, and in jails blow his head off… you got certain states that want to hang people, hang that bitch.’
Speaking of her love of physical fighting, Beauvais continues: ‘What happened to fighting, I grew up on fighting. I like to fight. My hands and my feet and teeth.
‘It does something for me – what does it do for you? F**king people up never stopped being a thing. Shooting ‘people is still wack. It means you can’t fight. It means you’re a cop.’
She signs off the footage saying: ‘F**k the police. F**k them.’
Beauvais is wearing the same clothes in the footage – a pale blue crop top, navy pencil skirt and matching boots – as she was seen in both at the time of the crash and when she was being led out of the NYPD’s 107th Precinct.
Beauvais posted a 1 hour and 51 minute livestream on her Facebook page last Monday evening. At one point, she washes down the contents of a red shot glass (above)
Suspected drunk driver Jessica Beauvais, 32, streamed herself on Facebook Live saying ‘f**k the police’ and downing shots hours before she allegedly struck and killed a veteran cop in a hit-and-run in New York City
As she was led out of the precinct in handcuffs Tuesday afternoon for her arraignment, the 32-year-old struck a far more contrite tone when asked about the deadly crash.
Beauvais sobbed as she apologized for Tsakos’ death saying: ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I hit him and now he’s dead.’
She was arraigned May at Queens criminal court and held without bail. She will next appear in court on May 12.
Police said Beauvais was driving despite having her license suspended in August 2019 for failing to pay for DMV fees.
She had previously been arrested on the same charge in 2015 and had her license suspended at least two more times.
She has also been charged with speeding and using a cellphone while driving in the past.
The fatal crash that Tsakos was called to also involved a driver with a suspended license.
Jonathan Espinal, 24, was driving a blue 2012 Infiniti G37X sedan along the expressway when it plowed into a utility pole on an exit ramp around 12:30 am.
Espinal and two passengers were both pulled from the burning vehicle. One passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said Espinal was charged with driving with a suspended New York driver’s license and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.