The Taxi and Limousine Commission tells us Mohammed Himon pleaded guilty to a suspension summons and surrendered his hack license this afternoon. “His suspension has technically begun,” a spokesperson said. So while Himon won’t be behind the wheel of a cab for at least 30 days, you might see him on your television.
Himon — who drove a quarter of a block on a Midtown sidewalk with a cyclist on the hood before slamming into and severing the leg of British tourist Sian Green — held a press conference outside Bellevue Hospital this morning to apologize to Green, blame the cyclist for the crash, and call for license and insurance requirements for people who ride bikes.
Himon was joined by Fernando Mateo, former head of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, who according to a sympathetic story in the Post had this to say: “The only crime committed here was by the bicyclist. This is not Mohammed’s fault. It is the fault of the cyclist. Who would you rather believe, a man who immigrated to this country and supports his family back home, or a thug?”
“There’s a lot of pressure and demands on drivers. There are drivers that are irresponsible but that isn’t the case here.”
“This young man has a family to support,” Mateo said. “If he can find another job, great. If not, he should be allowed to drive a cab.”
“It’s not my fault, it was an accident,” Himon said. “I didn’t see [cyclist Kenneth Olivo] — only when he banged on my car. He is not good.”
Council Member Dan Garodnick, whose district will soon include the intersection where the crash occurred, issued this statement in response to Himon’s publicity stunt:
Standing outside a hospital and pointing fingers while an injured tourist suffers inside is an unnecessary distraction, and truly disrespectful to the victim. We need to get clarity on the facts, and to assess whether criminality exists on the part of anyone here. Trying to deflect attention, and publicly placing blame before that happens, serves only the driver’s self interest. Most fundamentally, we need to live in a city where cars, bicyclists and pedestrians can safely co-exist. This area of midtown happens to be one of the most challenging, and the city needs to explore ways to make this area safer for all.
We don’t really have anything else to add, but if you do, consider this an open thread.
Have at it, folks.