Driver With Terrible Tattoo Convicted Of Killing Pedestrian With Car (Updated)

Image of Bowery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty

Danny Lin, 25, a reckless driver who killed a pedestrian while speeding through Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 2014, has been sentenced to up to five years in prison. Ironically, he also has what sounds like a truly terrible and toolish arm tattoo with a Paul Walker quote that reads, “If one day speed kills me do not cry because I was smiling.” Update: this does not appear to be an actual Paul Walker quote.


To be fair, the tattoo says nothing about going to prison for speeding. After Lin gets out, he might want to visit a new tat shop to get that thing updated.


He was convicted of second-degree manslaughter back in July, reports the New York Daily News. Lin was going 55 MPH in a 25 MPH zone in his 2011 BMW 335i when he fatally struck 57-year-old Robert Perry, who was thrown 140 feet after impact.

Police later testified that he tried to flee the scene after hitting Perry, reports Gothamist, because he drove onto the sidewalk and crashed into a fire hydrant before finally stopping.

It’s like he totally took the tattoo to heart, because Assistant District Attorney David Drucker said, “Basically, driving fast is what the defendant does. It’s like a hobby of his,” according to the Daily News. He was “very well aware of the potentially deadly nature of driving this fast,” Drucker added.


Seriously? Can people not separate movies from real life?

Lin and his lawyer asked for a “non-jail sentence like community service.”

“I am truly sorry for what happened to that pedestrian,” Lin said. “I promise to be more careful if and when I am able to drive again.” His lawyer added that he hasn’t driven since the incident.


Screw that. Thankfully, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber had a different idea. “Society can’t have this kind of lawless behavior go unpunished,” he said. He reasoned that Perry had no way of getting out of the way of the car because Lin was going too fast.

He sentenced Lin to between one to five years in prison—half of what prosecutors argued for.


Update: Attorneys for the Walker family have contacted us to claim that the quote above is misattributed to Paul Walker. After doing some digging, we could also find no evidence that he actually said it, either.

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Kristen Lee

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.