The widow of a veteran NYPD cop killed by an alleged drunken hit-and-run driver burst into tears as a paramedic described her late husband’s gruesome injuries to a Queens courtroom on Tuesday.
“His face was split in two,” New York Presbyterian EMS Kevin Beverly testified of slain Det. Anastasios Tsakos – as the manslaughter trial of accused drunk driver Jessica Beauvais kicked off in Queens Supreme Court.
“There was a lot of facial trauma, a lot of swelling, bleeding, bleeding from the ears, bruising on the neck area,” said Beverly, as widow Irene Tsakos sobbed openly in the gallery.
“He had a left leg amputation below the knee halfway down.”
The heartbroken woman was temporarily escorted from the courtroom by supporters before prosecutors displayed horrifying crime scene photos of the cop’s broken body.
They showed his face covered in blood, his eyes closed and mouth open, stuffed with gauze. His nose, visibly broken.
“His organs and bones were crushed,” Assistant District Attorney Greg Lasak, Jr., told the jury during opening arguments earlier Tuesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise.
“His leg was amputated. He landed 171 feet from impact,” the prosecutor continued. “She left him there on the side of the road to die, without his leg.”
Prosecutors have said Beauvais, 34, was high on drugs and had a blood alcohol level of .15 — nearly twice the legal limit — when she hit Tsakos, a 14-year NYPD veteran who was promoted to the rank of detective after his tragic death.
Bodycam footage that captured the officer’s violent last moments was shown in court Tuesday afternoon – with his former partner crying on the witness stand as prosecutors played the graphic video.
Tsakos, a 43-year-old dad of two young kids, was investigating an accident on the Long Island Expressway in the early hours of April 27, 2021 when Beauvais allegedly slammed into him – leaving his body battered on the road as she drove off in her damaged 2013 Volkswagen.
“S–t! S–t! It’s really bad,” Det. Eric Cassidy could be heard frantically radioing in for help on the recording. “My partner is down! He was hit by a car. It’s bad. Hurry it up!. S–t. F–k.”
Cassidy then screamed at passing motorists, some of whom ran over Tsakos’ severed leg as they sped by the site of the crash.
“Stop! F–k. He’s f–ing dead. He’s f–ing dead. That’s his f–ing leg over there!” the distraught cop then yelled to other officers.
“We couldn’t stop the car,” he said as he broke down, according to the video. “I couldn’t stop the car. His leg’s over there!”
Just hours before the fatal 2 a.m. crash, Beauvais was seen on a live podcast, posted on Facebook, that showed her downing drinks – including guzzling several shots – while going off on an anti-cop rant.
“She admitted during the podcast to taking a shot. She admitted after the podcast she had another shot of liquor,” Lasak said in court Tuesday.
She was busted after a police chase – and when she opened her car door, the officer who arrested her could smell alcohol and marijuana, Lasak said in court.
“Her eyes were bloodshot and watery, she was unstable on her feet and her speech was slurred,” the prosecutor said.
“In her cup holder was a pink liquid. A strong mixed drink. In her other cup holder in the center console was an ashtray containing cannabis.”
In a terse moment during his opening arguments, Beauvais’ attorney, Jorge Santos, told jurors, “If Officer Tsakos had not stepped into my client’s car he would be alive today!”
Lasak immediately objected, with the judge sustaining the objection, striking the comment from the record.
Santos continued to suggest the cop was at least partially at fault, arguing that Tsakos should’ve been wearing a reflective safety vest and claiming he wasn’t paying enough attention to passing traffic.
“The officers were not wearing reflective vests,” the lawyer said. “Officer Tsakos was sitting on the police car. Regulations require him to be facing traffic but he was text messaging on his phone looking down.”
He also said Beauvais was driving at speeds up to 70 mph on the expressway but slowed down “significantly” and was cruising at “almost at the speed limit” when she allegedly struck the cop.
“I will remind you, you promised to give Ms. Beauvais a fair trial,” Santos told the jury. “I’m going to ask you to keep an open mind.”
About 70 of New York’s Finest packed the courtroom for the start of trial, with Beauvais’ family, including her teenage son, also there to support her.
She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on charges including vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, drunken driving, reckless endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident.
Beauvais has been held at Rikers Island since her arrest.
Last month, she shot down a plea offer from prosecutors that would have carried a 16-year sentence, Newsday reported at the time.
On Tuesday, she entered the courtroom wearing a skin-tight pink pants suit with a gold shirt, and sported off-white rosary beads around her neck that hung down to her waist.
Her mother waved from the audience as she entered, with Beauvais looking apprehensive as she eyed the massive contingent of cops staring her down in the courtroom.
“We are going into this court today hoping for justice but we know we won’t get full justice because our hero officer has a life sentence,” Patrick Hendry, president of the NYPD Police Benevolent Association, said outside the courtroom.
“She at least deserves to be behind bars for a long long long long time,” Hendry said. “She ran down a New York City police officer, knowing that she hit him, feeling the impact as his body flew apart.
“She then made the choice to flee the scene without regard for human life,” he added.
As she was led crying from the 107th Precinct stationhouse in handcuffs later on the day of the wreck, Beauvais had issued an apology to the reporters present.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry that I hit him and now he’s dead.”