BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. (WIVB) – The family of a Buffalo State College graduate who was killed in a Long Island car crash is upset after the man charged with DWI was released by a judge, without bail, following arraignment.
Jonathan Flores-Maldonado, 27, died Sunday morning after the car he was driving was hit on a parkway in the Town of Brookhaven. Authorities charged Jordan Randolph with Felony DWI. Court paperwork obtained by News 4 says Randolph “attempted to flee the scene on foot”, but “after taking a few steps, (he) fell to the ground where he was placed into custody”.
“The past few days for my family have been devastating,” said Dylan Page, Flores-Maldonado’s cousin.
Page was there Monday as Randolph appeared in front of a judge for his arraignment. Randolph was on his own recognizance, despite a lengthy criminal history. According to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, he has 12 previous criminal convictions, including three DWIs since 2011.
“We were flabbergasted that someone who crashed a car into someone and killed them was able to walk free and walk right past us, out the courtroom, while we’re heading home to plan his funeral,” Page said.
But that’s not all. “News 12 Long Island” reported that Randolph was also arrested and released on New York’s Day for allegedly not having a court-ordered ignition interlock device in his vehicle.
Randolph’s attorney told “News 12 Long Island” because of New York State’s bail reform, which took effect this year, the judge had to release Randolph on the DWI charge without setting bail. Page is calling on state lawmakers to rethink that bail reform package.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “We need to do something about it as soon as possible.”
“The longer it goes on, the more people are going to be hurt.”
Flores-Maldonado graduated from Buffalo State with a biology degree in May 2019. He was a popular student on campus, serving as the president of the student biology club during the 2018-19 school year.
“Jonathan always had a pleasant and professional demeanor in class and in our labs,” said Daniel Potts, the chair of the Biology Department at Buffalo State. “He had a bright future.”
Potts added the department’s thoughts are with Flores-Maldonado’s family, which his mourning his loss. They’ve set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.
“I love him dearly,” said Page. “It’s barely even hit me. I can’t believe that I’m not going to see, not only my cousin, but one of my best friend’s ever again.”
Randolph is scheduled to be back in court on January 23rd.