The Weekly Carnage

The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle mayhem
across the five boroughs and beyond. For more on the origins and purpose of this
column, please read About the Weekly Carnage.

Fatal Crashes (1 Killed Since 3/26, 37 This Year, 7 Drivers Charged*)

  • Williamsbridge, Bronx: 40-Year-Old Pedestrian, Known as “Nevel,” Killed Walking His Bike When Driver Jumps Curb, Pinning Him to Church on White Plains Road; Charges Unknown (Bronx News)

Injuries, Arrests and Property Damage

  • Breaking: NYCDOT Employee Injured in Chelsea Work Zone by Hit-and-Run Driver
  • Crotona Park: Driver Runs Over Unidentified Pedestrian, Arrested for Leaving Scene (Post Blotter)
  • Upper East Side: Elderly Woman Hit by City Bus Driver; No Known Charges (NY1)
  • Midtown: Swiss Man Hits Pedestrian, Cab With Stolen Car (Post Blotter)
  • East Village: SUV Driver Jumps Curb; 5 Reported Hurt (Streetsblog)
  • Chelsea: Bike Messenger Chases Down, Attacks Limo Driver After Hit-and-Run (Post)
  • Clinton Hill: Pedestrian Assaulted by Driver Who Almost Ran Him Down (Bklyn Paper)
  • Brooklyn: Cop at BQE DWI Stop Hit by Second Drunk Driver, Breaking Both Legs (News, Post)
  • Laurelton: Women Steal Idling NYPD Cruiser During Traffic Stop (Gothamist)
  • Inwood: Traffic Agent Vehicle Shot by Perp Wielding Pellet Gun (WABC)
  • Crown Heights: Dollar Cab and City Bus Collide, Injuring 9 (NY1)
  • Cobble Hill: Two Crashes, Three Drivers, One Yellow Cab, One Car Into Building (Bklyn Eagle)
  • East Elmhurst: Driver Taking Friend With Gunshot Wound to Hospital Crashes Car (WABC)
  • Upper West Side: Facade of Parking Garage Wall Collapses; No Injuries Reported (City Room)

Following Up

  • Bronx: Memorial Ride, Ghost Bike Installation for Megan Charlop Scheduled for Saturday (BNN)
  • Related: Charlop Remembered as Indomitable Humanitarian (Norwood News 1, 2, WNYC)
  • Bronx: Loved Ones of Ana Estevez Honored by Effort to Improve Broadway Stretch (R’dale Press)
  • Brooklyn Hit-and-Run Victim Erinn Phelan Still Comatose, Moved to Boston Facility (News)
  • Brooklyn: Family of Vionique Valnord Sues NYPD, Alleging Cover-Up in DWI Death (Post, NY1)
  • SI: Reckless Driver Joseph Catrama to Serve 3 Months for Killing Nathan Pakow in ’09 (Advance)
  • Manhattan: Cabbie Gets Probation for Criminally Negligent Homicide in ’06 Crash (NYT, News, Post)
  • Related: Family of Victim Danielle Rico Says Killer Hassan Afzal Shows No Remorse (Advance)
  • Queens: Drunk Driver Who Killed 1 and Injured 3 in Separate ’05 Hit-and-Runs Gets 21 Years (YN)

In the Region, Out of Town

  • Mount Pleasant: NYPD Officer Dies in One-Car Crash on Suburban Route 9 (News)
  • Bethpage: Mother, 11-Year-Old Daughter Killed in Multi-Vehicle Collision (AP)
  • Jersey City: Couple Slain in Apparent Botched Carjacking (Post, WABC)
  • Manchester: 17 Injured in Chain-Reaction Crash on Thruway (AP)
  • Mount Vernon: Unlicensed, Speeding Driver Lands on Train Tracks After Cyclist Near-Miss (WINS)
  • Rockville Center: MTA Bus Driver Assaults Supervisor Who Caught Him on Cell Phone (Gothamist)
  • LI: Pot-Smoking Driver Arrested on Meadowbrook State Parkway (Gothamist)
  • Yonkers: Man, 77, Ignores Barricades, Drives Into Flood Waters (WABC)
  • South Hadley, MA: Brooklynites’ Nearly Fatal Drunken Joyride All in Good Fun (News)
  • Miami, FL: Cyclist Killer Carlos Bertonatti Sped From Scene at 80 MPH (New Times)

Other News

  • New York City Transit to Bus-Dodging Pedestrians: Cross With Caution (Streetsblog)
  • New Jersey, One of America’s Worst Places to Walk, to Require Full Stop for Peds (Inquirer via HWD)
  • Feds Want $16M From Toyota for Failing to Report Accelerator Defect (NYT)
  • Related: Hype Over Sticky Pedals Belies More Common Vehicle Problems (NYT)
  • At Least Three Tata Nanos Have Burst Into Flames (Wheels)
  • IIHS: Motorcycle Training Doesn’t Deter Riders From Risky Behavior (Wheels)
  • Drinking and Driving: How Much Alcohol Is Too Much? (NYT)

* Based on latest available reports

  • Bolwerk

    Perzeus Forte really deserves a medal.

  • J. Mork
  • Joanna

    It figures you would approve of violence against drivers. The guy wasn’t hurt, his bike wasn’t damaged. He flew into a rage, beat the shit out of a driver, and you think that’s great. Truly amazing.

  • Regarding the Perzeus Forte story:

    “I swear to God I thought I was a dead man,” the shaken Mohammed said. “He was going to kill me.”

    Mr. Mohammed, you don’t know how many times I thought the same exact thing about drivers who nearly killed me while I was riding my bike in a perfectly legal manner. Most of the time the actions by drivers were just careless, other times they were intentional homicidal!

    Now you know how it feels to face potential death. I hope you learned how fragile life really is.

  • ME

    As a cyclist who’s nearly been hit by careless or reckless motorists many, many times, I still don’t think what Perzeus Forte did was right. We need to take the high ground, not resort to road rage.

  • Don’t get mad at individuals, get mad at decades of poor public policy. Most people behind the wheel are just sheep grazing in a field of unfairly-subsidized infrastructure.

    As for the homicidal maniacs, I won’t judge you for how you chose to use your U-lock. Any damage you do to an inanimate machine is forgivable when said machine has been used to threaten a human life (just the machine–leave the misguided, emotionally-charged human being encapsulated inside alone). Would the general public get upset if somebody damaged the gun of a street gangster? No, of course not. Who would complain about causing harm to a mechanical device which is posing a threat to public safety?

  • P

    It doesn’t justify assault.

  • LOLcat

    I thought my response the last time I got clipped by a car was appropriate:

    Rode up to the guys open window shouted, “Watch where you are going you fucking asshole you just hit me with your car.”

    Then when he drove up behind me and started honking I flipped him off and pedaled away.

  • Joanna, who says they approve of violence against drivers? They simply reported it. I don’t approve of what the cyclist did by any means, but it’s worth noting that the driver was not charged for the hit-and-run that sparked the incident.

  • la rider

    Sometimes I feel like pulling off my u-lock and smashing a window in. But if I gave in to the urge, it’s the same as a driver giving in to urge of running down a biker for fun, because they can.

  • Omri

    If only this guy had not assaulted the driver, I’d be squarely on his side. Smashing the windshield with the U-lock renders the car non-street-legal, and is thus a good way to force a hit-and-runner to stop running. Good enough that a decent lawyer will present that argument in court and probably prevail. But attacking the driver was not cool.

  • JayinPortland

    It’s inevitable, simply human nature, that eventually when one’s life is constantly threatened by one group of people during the carrying out of one’s daily activities, that they’re going to act out in this manner sooner or later. Was he legally right to assault somebody? No. But do I think he was necessarily in the wrong, morally? Well, why is physically assaulting someone any worse than hitting them with your vehicle and then running off? They should both be in handcuffs and facing charges.

    An easy way to prevent these actions is simply to enforce the laws, and begin to cite reckless and dangerous drivers (or as I’m tempted to begin calling them, in the same spirit with which newspapers tend to refer to bicyclists, “automobile enthusiasts”) who don’t seem to consider anybody else’s safety besides their own in the first place. And if they keep on endangering other people’s lives, take them off the road until they can begin to act like decent human beings. Operation of a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right. I don’t understand why this is so hard for public safety types to figure out. I really want to think they don’t hate bikers and pedestrians for their choices as to mode of transportation, but evidence does tend to point in the other direction doesn’t it?

    I don’t bike myself, I walk and ride transit. But even in my walkable inner city neighborhood here in Portland, Oregon, I constantly feel under siege in certain locations myself by careless and inconsiderate jerks behind the wheel of tons of fast-moving steel. Drivers in Portland are mostly (key modifier) as considerate as, or more than, any others in this country, but of course it still only takes one of “the others” to kill you.

    It’s interesting to me how the attitude of police vary by region. To his great credit, here near my apartment one Portland police officer actually did go after a motorist who almost ran me down as I was crossing a street, right in front of him last year. On the other hand, I grew up in Northern New Jersey and I have to say I remember a few times when it was a police officer him-or-herself who was the one who almost ran me down in a crosswalk. And forget about hoping for most of them to take seriously violations committed by motorists against pedestrians, even right in front of them. I definitely feel like a second-class citizen most times in my own public space.

  • I just want to compare Forte’s actions with those of Daillard Paris. The Post was neutral in that report.

  • Bolwerk

    Joanna: maybe you should come to New York sometime and see how many drivers nearly hit people on a daily basis. A very high percentage of them are sociopaths.

    It’s really time people start fighting back, with clubs and fists if necessary.

  • Rob Conger

    How about a legal defense fund. He says it will cost him 1,000 bucks to deal with court costs. 100 people giving 10 bucks each will cover it…

  • Peter Smith

    i thought it was great that the driver was talking about how he thought he was a deadman. awesome irony. welcome to our world, buddy — you belong in jail.

  • Fatso

    Rob, if you have contact info for a legal fund I think enough people would be interested…

  • re: Chelsea: Bike Messenger Chases Down, Attacks Limo Driver After Hit-and-Run (Post)

    While easy to identify with the cyclist hopefully both have learned: The driver must be a lot more careful around cyclists; the cyclist to control his temper which can be difficult because of the constant threats by cars on the streets.

    All too often drivers confront pedestrians and cyclists by cursing at them, gunning motors from close behind, speeding past too close and honking from their cars which is essentially harassment with a lethal weapon with no recrimination.

    Recently, hit but not hurt by a car (with no damage to the bike) the driver got out and calmly tried to talk with me after I confronted him further down the street when he continued driving.

    I took his license plate number and he said he would give me his driver’s license to take the appropriate information.

    He said he honked though he seemed like a nice guy.

    Quite loud and angry I said that he hit me and that does not give him the right of way.

    He said that he just got out of the hospital.

    Angrier, I said again that then should not have been driving and again that he hit me.

    At that point he probably realized that he was completely at fault and jumped back in his car and left.

    911 was dialed and the two women police officers that soon arrived were really quite nice and sympathetic writing out the accident report. A copy of the report was obtained from the local precinct a few days later for a $10 fee.

    Seriously doubting that anything else will come of this except that perhaps, that the driver will steer clear of cyclists in the future and that it demonstrates the serious inequity, dangers, and monopolistic practice of cars on our streets and the importance of safe local transportation for all.

    Transportation systems based on cars are structurally violent systems with minimal accountability near exclusively promoting transportation by extremely dangerous, costly, and environmentally destructive vehicles; and, the rule of law is much skewed in the favor of cars with little relevance to justice, equity, and good common sense.

  • Let me get it straight: a bicycle driver engages in vigilante violence, of the same kind that made New Yorkers infamous for their fear of The Other and for their rage. Instead of talking about how assault is not acceptable in any circumstance, we have people say things like “Transportation systems based on cars are structurally violent,” “It’s really time people start fighting back,” and “Would the general public get upset if somebody damaged the gun of a street gangster?”. If Saddam could be nice to the US for a few days after 9/11, you guys can be nice to a battered driver.

    And doesn’t Joanna live in Flushing?

  • “He said he honked though he seemed like a nice guy.”

    The one time I’ve been hit by a car (its side mirror) it was a livery cab whose driver had just honked the horn. He got away. Some of their drivers are under the impression that after a honk, any human still in their path is fair game. That’s far from being the law and far below the conduct we should demand from licensed professional drivers.

    Violent retaliation is wrong, but it does not void the undisputed and serious crime of hitting someone with a car and driving off.

  • Joanna

    Yes, I am from Flushing, which was part of NYC last time I checked.

    Also noticed the most recent comment on the NY Post’s website by a supposed witness, and if true, the biker was at fault. He needs to be locked up in a mental hospital.

  • Joanna

    Anyone can type “Joanna” into the Name field, and there are probably several Joannas who read this. How are we supposed to know it’s the same Joanna?

    That said, Joanna, you went on the attack against Streetsblog after one favorable, pseudonymous comment, even though the blog’s actual coverage was neutral.

    -Cap’n Transit

  • A couple of months ago, I got clipped by a livery cab driver who made a sudden turn off the diagonal from Broadway onto Manhattan Ave in Brooklyn. He made the turn right into me, so quickly that I could not stop. I tried to swerve, but my front wheel got caught up in his back bumper, and I went over the handlebars. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt and my bike was not even damaged.

    He stopped and offered to call an ambulance or take me to the hospital. I did not need to go, and we had it out over who was at fault: he insisted that I was, for “going too fast.” I pointed out that even if I was going too fast (and I couldn’t have been going more than 20), he was going even faster, since he passed me and then turned into me… I don’t think he got it, but I think he was sorry all the same.

    There is no point to this story, really, except to say that I was completely freaked out and charged with adrenaline. I doubt that I would ever do something violent to such a guy (or even to his car). But if that situation had been a bit different, if he had kept going after knocking me down, I don’t know…

    I certainly don’t think the messenger deserves a medal, but I fully understand how utterly helpless one can feel (at times, anyway) on a bike, and how one can be provoked to rage.

  • Bolwerk

    Joanna is rationalizing the behavior of sociopaths. Okay, fine, *if* the biker is at fault, he doesn’t deserve a medal. It’s really besides the point. Drivers committing attempted assault or successful assault is a daily occurrence; drivers getting beaten after they commit assault is rare enough to make the news.

    (And really, Flushing’s drivers are the pits. They don’t even pretend to acknowledge that there’s life outside their sedans.)

  • Bolwerk, if I were you, I wouldn’t hang around on a thread making those barbs. They just serve to remind everyone that you told someone who lives in Flushing to visit New York City. What next – are you going to tell a US-born Indian-American “Welcome to America,” too?

  • Bolwerk

    Alon: next are you going to tell me I can’t tell the ignorant to “open their eyes”* or use any number of other hyperbolic cliches the English language has to offer? I’m well aware that ignorant people literally have eyelids that open and close. I really shouldn’t have to explain why I said “maybe you should come to New York sometime” while fully expecting that she probably lives in New York City or is at least nearby enough to know her way around it (being that this is the NYC Streetsblog and all).

    And really, the race card? This isn’t about race or ethnic background. It’s about paying attention to the environment in which you live. I suspect the major hurdle to that is empathy with those around you, not American-ness. If Joanna really lives in NYC, all the more reason for her to recognize the incongruity of complaining about Perzeus and /defending/ the guy who initiated the assault in the first place. It goes back to a social, cultural, and systemic bias our society has towards drivers and against the victims of driving – a subject Streetsblog has covered rather admirably, I think. (And no, it doesn’t /necessarily/ justify punching the driver.)

    * To be clear: the “ignorant” comment is not aimed at Joanna. It’s just a counterexample to the above comment. I’m sure Joanna is overall a very nice person, and I only took issue with one narrow comment she made.

  • No, you shouldn’t have to explain this. That’s because you shouldn’t be saying anything this asinine. I’m sure George Allen thought it was all in good fun when he made the “Welcome to America, Macaca” comment, but the important part is that’s not how everyone else took it.

    Strange you complain about me pulling out the race card and then bring up ignorance… I meant it as an analogy. Well, you’re endorsing violence here against people you don’t like and so would Allen, but that’s not the intended comparison. Because the person who initiated the assault is Perzeus; it doesn’t matter how he himself justifies violence – he could’ve pressed charges against the driver like a civilized person in a modern developed country with the rule of law.

  • Bolwerk

    Yeah, those racist New Yorkers always telling people to come to New York because New York…(does?/doesn’t?) welcome people into its pasty, white hegemon! Why, telling someone to /visit/ New York is exactly like what George Allen did! It’s quite abundantly clear reading over what I said, that I simply neglected to throw in an ethnic slur! Silly me! Making light of someone’s views about traffic enforcement is the same thing as racism! I suppose since “Joanna” is a Biblical name, I must be anti-Semitic now too!

    I brought up ignorance, a perfectly forgivable state of being, as a counterexample to make a point about how people use language; the comment wasn’t even directed at another person, but directly at a specific point — a fact I intentionally, explicitly made clear out of courtesy. You played the race card as a cynical, hamfisted rhetorical tactic to get me associated with racists and force me to cry, “I’m not racist!” Again, I shouldn’t have to explain the difference.

    As for the reasonable objection you have: yes, I grudgingly think violence is appropriate sometimes. Sorry, but even if I thought civil authorities should have a monopoly on use of force, I know they really care that much when drivers wantonly put other lives at risk. Hell, I’ve even seen way too many cases of police attacking the victims in such cases (and Streetsblog, again, well-documents them).

    If you disagree with that position, fine. But it’s no excuse for accusing me of racism.

  • Do you think that if a driver got too pissed at the government for not being nice enough to highway users, he’d be justified to shoot up someone as a statement of protest?

  • Bolwerk

    What does being pissed off have to do with whether it’s justifiable? That’s too ambiguous to comment on, and I don’t see what the above has to do with shooting anyone. Perzeus was merely a victim of assault, probably because of indifference to other people or negligence on the part of the driver – I can see where he was justified in using force, but not in killing the idiot.

    I don’t think anyone should shoot anyone just because they’re pissed off, but there are certainly legitimate cases where deadly force can be justified. It’s obviously a losing battle for whoever makes that decision against the state though. However, if you want an example of a case where I think someone could be justified shooting an agent of the state, take a look at the Calvo incident in Maryland where local stormtroopers broke into an innocent person’s home, refused to show a warrant, and shot the family pets apparently for the hell of it – all because of some pot shipment (about the most harmless drug ever) the police *knew* was probably intentionally sent to their address as a ploy.

  • mr forte

    my bike cost me 700$ !!!!!!!!!!!! i work 3 months to owned!!!!! the bike was new , was destroyed, i wasnt hurt thanks god but what about my bike , he did hit and run,he dint care about me , im a human been like him,maybe is truth ,i should not react that way , but hi did not care about me , i was working like him and what about my bike!!!! at the end he reacted worse than me!!! so he is coward!! happened to me lot in the pass were taxi hit me and i have to pay for my bike so i can keep working and send money to my family , because i have family to , but this time he could kill me!!!! he should go to a mental institution , learn how to be a better human , and get the lincese suspended!!! thanks you .. im perzeus forte im still riding my bike.

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The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs and beyond. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage. Fatal Crashes (1 killed this week, 47 this year, 4 drivers charged*) Bronxwood: David Oliveras, 18, Struck By SUV Driver While Riding […]

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The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs and beyond. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage.  Fatal Crashes (4 killed this week, 31 this year, 4 drivers charged*) Fresh Meadows: 40-Year-Old Pedestrian Struck By Driver on Union Turnpike; […]

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The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs and beyond. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage. Fatal Crashes (1 killed this week, 69 this year, 7 drivers charged*) New Brighton: Kathryn Brown, 63, Passenger of 85-Year-Old Driver, Killed […]

The Weekly Carnage

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The Weekly Carnage

|
The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs and beyond. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage. Fatal Crashes (1 killed this week, 83 this year, 11 drivers charged*) Port Morris: Unidentified Cyclist Fatally Struck by Driver; “No Criminality […]