Hundreds gathered on Monday on Long Island to pay their last respects to Greek American NYPD Officer Anastasios Tsakos, who was killed in the line of duty.
A massive motorcade escorted his body to his wake, held at Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church on Long Island.
Officers lined Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, Queens for the start of a procession, carrying the casket to the church.
Along the way, firefighters stood at attention and displayed the American flag on highway overpasses to pay tribute to the 14-year veteran of the NYPD.
A solemn salute as our fellow first responders stand shoulder-to-shoulder to honor Police Officer Anastasios Tsakos, who made the ultimate sacrifice. Together we will #NeverForget. pic.twitter.com/O3NhAfswrC
— Detectives' Endowment Association (@NYCPDDEA) May 3, 2021
Services for Tsakos are planned for Tuesday in Greenlawn.
“We will miss him immensely,” said NYPD Lt. John Pappas, who was close friends with Tsakos, whom he called Tasos, for 14 years.
GoFundMe campaign for the family of NYPD Officer
They met through the St. Paul Society, an Hellenic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Society made up of mostly Greek officers.
“He was a very loving man to his friends, his family, his children,” Pappas said in an interview with CBS. “And he gave of himself, and he wanted no recognition in return. That’s the kind of guy he was.”
“He didn’t deserve this,” brother, Teddy Tsakos told Eyewitness News last week. “He just bought a house. He was starting his life. He was doing good. Everything was cut short. That’s it.”
A GoFundMe for the family has raised more than $200,000, while a separate fundraiser set up by Fund the Finest, which raises money for police and military families, has raised more than $80,000. The Tunnel to Towers Foundation also announced it is paying off the mortgage on the family’s home.
Suspect in Tsakos case faces 15 years in prison
Tsakos, 43, was directing traffic after another car accident on the Long Island Expressway in Queens when he was fatally hit early on the morning of April 27. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
The alleged drunk driver, 32-year-old Jessica Beauvais, of Hempstead, is being held without bail on multiple charges, including second-degree aggravated manslaughter and driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for which she could face up to 15 years in prison.
As she was escorted out of a Queens police precinct after her arraignment, Beauvais cried while telling reporters, “I’m sorry that I hit him and that he’s dead.” Reports say that she admitted to drinking before driving the vehicle and had a blood alcohol level nearly double the legal limit — two hours after the incident.
According to court documents, Beauvais admitted “I smoke weed regularly. I drank two glasses of wine earlier today and then dropped my son off in Hempstead. I smoked a joint last night before my podcast that I did in Brooklyn; the podcast was from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.”
“I brought the bottle of wine I had with me to the podcast. I had two shots of 1800 Patron tequila. When I left, I didn’t know where I was going so I used my GPS. I made a left turn and a right turn and ended up at a gas station where the cops stopped me. I don’t know why they stopped me, speeding I guess. I did hear a thump, so I knew I hit something but I didn’t see what it was.”