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Suspect Arrested In Queens Hit-And-Run That Left Man Critically Hurt

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- An arrest has been made in a hit-and-run that left a man critically hurt in Queens.

As many enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner Thursday night, investigators were hard at work scouring the intersection of Murray Street and 17th Road looking for any clues leading them to the driver who they say slammed into a 71-year-old man.

The man was trying to cross the street just before 7 p.m. when police say a vehicle slammed into him and then drove off, leaving him in the street. Neighbors rushed over to help.

"All of a sudden I heard a big bang and I come right outside and I see this man lying in the street and everybody was yelling and screaming out here," said neighbor Donna Angenbroich.

"My husband laid next to him in the sidewalk to see if he was OK," said neighbor Peggy Angenbroich. "His head was on the street, there was a lot of blood. His leg was twisted."

Friends identify him as Paul Sim, a father and veteran who had just wrapped up Thanksgiving dinner at Jasmine Cho's home nearby with some fellow church members, CBS2's Reena Roy reported.

"He was just sitting at our dining table with us," Cho said. "They hit him right in the middle and they didn't even stop. They just ran and then I think he dragged him."

He may have been dragged as far as 40 feet, police said. His pastor tried running after the vehicle, Roy reported.

Police say the driver was 52-year-old Carmine Minichino of Queens. He's charged with driving while intoxicated with a suspended license plus leaving the scene of an accident. Detectives spotted his abandoned Chevy Express van down the block. Soon after, he appeared with keys in hand.

"Someone should not be able to do what they did and go on with their day like nothing happened," said Peggy Angenbroich. "They should pay the consequences for their actions."

Sim was taken to the hospital in critical condition and was transferred Friday morning from Flushing Hospital to New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan for surgery.

"I'm hoping, I'm praying that he's conscious and he becomes healthy again because it's just so unfortunate," said Cho. "Such a good man this happened to."

People in the area say in the past, they have requested a four-way stop sign at the intersection. The DOT said it received a request in 2016 for an all-way stop sign at the location, but an in-depth study of the area, using nationally recognized traffic engineering standards, determined it was not recommended.

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