Uber driver charged in death of car-surfing teen

Authorities have charged an Uber driver from Long Island with manslaughter in connection with the death of a teenager who was car surfing.

Danyal Cheema, 24, of Huntington Station, pleaded not guilty in Suffolk County District Court in Central Islip on Monday.

Three teenage boys who had been partying were Cheema's passengers just after midnight on September 23. They paid him $40 to let them surf on the SUV's roof, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney.

Ryan Mullen, 15, and a second boy climbed onto the roof while their friend recorded the stunt on Snapchat, the DA's office said. Mullen fell off the roof and hit his head on road. He died in his sleep at home later that morning.

"We have a culture right now where the mindset is, 'How can we outdo each other?' particularly among young people on social media, and we often see the tragic consequences of that," DA Timothy Sini said in a statement. "[W]e also need to hold adults accountable when they're part of the problem, and in this case the defendant was directly responsible."

District Court Judge Jennifer Henry set bail at $200,000 cash or $400,000 bond and ordered him back in court Friday.

The DA's office said Cheema's license has been suspended.

With the AP