Danny Lin, 25, loves Fast and the Furious so much, he had a quote from the late Paul Walker tattooed on his arm. “If one day speed kills me, do not cry because I was smiling,” Lin’s ink reads. The irony is that Lin’s speeding took the life of 57-year-old Robert Perry in 2014, after Lin’s 2011 BMW 335i mowed Perry down in New York City’s Lower East Side. Lin was ultimately convicted of second-degree manslaughter and sentenced yesterday to up to five years in prison.
Perry was crossing Bowery street when Lin came barreling through at 55 miles per hour – more than twice the speed limit. Perry was struck and sent flying some 140 feet through the air. Lin’s car kept going until it smashed into a fire hydrant a block South of the accident. When Lin’s trial came, prosecutors sought to showcase the defendant as a speed freak, noting his love of Fast and the Furious films and showing his prior GoPro footage of him “driving incredibly fast on both highways and, more importantly, on public streets,” Assistant District Attorney David Drucker said. “Basically, driving fast is what the defendant does. It’s like a hobby of his.”
Lin had asked for a non-jail sentence, such as community service, after he was convicted in July, and expressed remorse to the court. “I am truly sorry for what happened to the pedestrian. I promise to be more careful if and when I am able to drive again,” he said. Lin’s lackluster pleas fell on deaf ears when the judge handed down a sentence. “Society can’t have this kind of lawless behavior go unpunished,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber said, adding that the high rate of speed would’ve made it impossible for the victim to judge how long he had to move out of the way.