The McKenzie family in New York State is in mourning following the death of their beloved father and grandfather, David McKenzie, in a fatal altercation on Saturday night. The 54-year-old was found lying on the sidewalk near his family home in Baldwin, Long Island, and Patrick Destine, 26, from Queens has been charged with his murder.
Describing the events, a family member told a Woodbury-based TV station, “Last night, he was taken from us, and right now, the family is just grieving.” They went on to say that David was a “kindhearted and loving father” of two, a grandfather, and a former U.S. Navy serviceman, who “loved his mom and his family”.
According to the Nassau County Police Department, officers responded to a car crash at the corner of Schuman Place and Forest Avenue at around 11:00 p.m. Saturday. Destine was driving a gray 2004 Infiniti G35 and McKenzie a green 2003 Honda minivan, and after the collision, the two men exited their vehicles and began to argue.
The police believe that Destine “began violently assaulting the other driver” and “continuously kicked the victim in his head causing severe head trauma”. After a short chase, Destine was arrested and taken into custody.
Furthermore, Detective Captain Stephen Fitzpatrick from the homicide unit revealed to Newsday that Destine had been driving without headlights, had just bought the Infinity for $4,000, and that it was unregistered, uninsured, and without a valid inspection. He went on to allege that the defendant chased McKenzie down and shoved him to the ground, and then began stomping on him and kicking him in the face and head.
McKenzie was rushed to a hospital, but succumbed to his injuries at just after midnight. And according to police, Destine had also stolen some of the victim’s items from his minivan. On a doorbell camera, two people were seen chasing McKenzie, with one being identified as Destine’s girlfriend, Aisha Pitt, 19, from Hempstead, New York, who was also arrested on Saturday night for fleeing the scene and having some of the victim’s credit cards.
Destine pleaded not guilty in Hempstead First District Court Monday, and is currently being held without bail on charges of driving while intoxicated and murder in the second degree.