Queens man claims he didn’t know he ran over kid who threw eggs at his car
A Queens man charged with intentionally running over a teenage prankster insists he’s not a bad egg — just a bad driver.
In an exclusive jailhouse interview, Richard Keith claimed he had no idea that he had mowed down one of the boys who hurled eggs at his car in Long Island City on Halloween night.
“I thought I hit a trash can, which is why I was moving (his car) back and forth,” Keith, 50, said from Rikers Island. “I didn’t know there was a kid under me.”
Prosecutors and witnesses told a different story, saying that Keith knew exactly what he was doing when he crushed Christopher Miraba, 17, under the wheels of his Dodge minivan.
Keith drove off after rolling his tires over Miraba three times, according to a criminal complaint.
Keith stopped his minivan about half a block away, where he came upon a witness who thought the driver had killed the victim.
“That’s what happens,” Keith told the man, according to the complaint. He was hit with numerous charges including attempted murder and assault.
Miraba, the starting quarterback for Long Island City High School, was left in critical condition with fractures to his skull, spine and pelvis, and an injury to his right lung.
The road rage incident took place hours after a truck-driving terrorist killed eight people along the West St. bike path.
Christopher Miraba was struck and critically injured by a vehicle on Halloween night in what witnesses described as an intentional act after the driver believed Miraba threw eggs at him.
Keith claimed that the terror attack was on his mind when the teens hurled eggs at him as he drove around his neighborhood in search of parking.
“That was the same day!” Keith exclaimed. “So I’m coming home and these kids start attacking me. After what just happened, I had to fight back.”
Keith went on to admit that he made a bad decision, and even expressed remorse. But in the next breath, he went on the attack, calling out the victim’s parents.
“I would ask his parents, ‘Where were you?’ ” Keith said, his voice rising. “I was not the aggressor. They attacked me!”
Facing 25 years in prison if convicted, the father of four and Borough of Manhattan Community College student said he has little hope for the future.
“This is only my second time at Rikers in 50 years,” said Keith, who has been arrested 21 times since 1984 — 14 of which are sealed, police records show.
“I had a bright future ahead of me,” added Keith, who described himself as a “good person” and “social butterfly.”
“Now I have nothing to live for.”