NYPD: No Charges for Driver Who Killed Woman on Midtown Sidewalk

Southwest corner of Second Avenue and E. 49th Street, where a driver came to a stop after hitting three people on the sidewalk, pinning Mallory Weisbrod to a pole. Weisbrod died. The driver was not charged. Image: Google Maps
Southwest corner of Second Avenue and E. 49th Street, where a driver came to a stop after hitting three people on the sidewalk, pinning Mallory Weisbrod to a pole. Weisbrod died. The driver was not charged. Image: Google Maps

Update: Newsday identified the driver as Dimas Debrito.

A driver who hit three people on a Midtown sidewalk, killing a 24-year-old woman, was not charged with a crime by NYPD or Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance.

On Monday August 10, at around 4:24 p.m., Mallory Weisbrod was walking along Second Avenue at E. 49th Street when a motorist drove a Mercedes onto the curb, according to published accounts. Weisbrod was pinned against a pole and suffered severe injuries to her legs. The driver hit two other women — ages 21 and 23, according to WABC — one of whom was also hospitalized.

Weisbrod died last Sunday at Bellevue Hospital.

The Daily News reported that according to police, “the 64-year-old driver lost control after being cut off by another car,” and photos of the scene show the car with extensive front-end damage — indications that speed was a likely factor in the crash.

The crash happened in the 17th Precinct, where as of July local officers had ticketed 82 drivers for speeding in 2015.

The driver’s name was not released, and NYPD made no arrests. NYPD told Gothamist the investigation was “ongoing,” which usually means the Collision Investigation Squad hasn’t completed a report. Right of Way Law violations excepted, NYPD and New York City district attorneys rarely file charges for a serious crash after the driver is released from the scene.

Of the Daily News, the Post, and DNAinfo, the Daily News was the only outlet to mention the driver in its coverage of the crash.

The crash that killed Mallory Weisbrod and injured a second victim occurred in the City Council district represented by Dan Garodnick, and in Community Board District 6.

  • armyvet00

    Wow! Who knew that going 25mph was not slow enough that when a driver hits the brakes the car stops before slamming into people. I am SURE this driver took all appropriate steps to drive safely and by the rules, and was driving 25mph….. So, so, so sure. Not like we are surrounded by bad drivers….

  • com63

    Does Section 19-190 apply to cars hitting people on sidewalks, or is it just people in the crosswalk?

  • Brendan A. MacWade

    Why do I have this feeling that the driver accelerated after being allegedly cut-off by this mysterious other car? This was driver error. And there ought to be punishment.

  • Simon Phearson

    I am really frustrated by stories like this. I am on this very corner all the time. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do in order to avoid this same fate. What does the NYPD and the DA expect us to do? Just smile and take it?

    I’m already fairly self-conscious about where I stand near the street – placing myself behind physical obstructions wherever possible, and watching oncoming traffic closely for anything that looks like a BMW being driven recklessly by a 64-year-old. But what the hell else am I supposed to do? Why am I the one internalizing this risk?

  • Vision 200

    What other official City Hall policy could fail with such regularity without a comment from the mayor? If DOE refused to implement his universal pre-k plans, would he just chalk it up to needing to wait for the culture to change and everyone having to do their part?

    Sure, we get platitudes and assurances that the city is committed to Vision Zero, but how many people have to die before de Blasio takes more aggressive steps to protect New Yorkers?

    Perhaps if we called traffic violence “Ebola” maybe he’d be forced to address the problem head-on.

  • djx

    Read the Post story – it’s short and only take a few seconds. It’s written like the car itself just went out of control, but it (the car) stuck around after the crash. How very upstanding of the car. As Brad mentions, there is no mention of the driver. Just a car. Like rain. Or clouds. Just happens. Nothing we can do.

  • Is there a way to tie senseless pedestrian deaths to boobs in Times Square? Perhaps then we can get our elected representatives’ attention.

  • c2check

    NYC drivers are atrocious, especially considering how many people are out and about all the time.

    We need to change the cultural breakfast spread with strong policies. If only we had an agency responsible for these things…

  • vnm

    Doesn’t the Right of Way law apply here? Surely, pedestrians have the right of way when they’re walking on the sidewalk. No?

  • Some Asshole

    Why? They’re encroaching on rightful car space!

  • Some Asshole

    Was the car’s BAC tested? I hope so.

  • Maggie

    Newsday actually named the driver: http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/mallory-weisbrod-manhattan-accident-victim-formerly-of-long-island-dies-police-say-1.10751742

    This is one of those crashes that leaves me very discouraged and disillusioned. Is it -really- necessary for “advocates” to jump up and down and kick and scream to get a driver charged who kills a 24-year-old woman on the sidewalk in midtown Manhattan? Like Dan Garodnick wouldn’t be aware that this was a serious, unacceptable issue in his district unless he happens to field a series of constituent phone calls? This is just ridiculous.

    And shame on the NY Times for endlessly ignoring / burying these deaths. The paper of record should be, well, recording.

  • Emmily_Litella

    Ever ride a bike over 20 MPH? Its fast as fcuk when some obstacle suddenly veers into your path.

  • Joe R.

    Scary as all f*ck, too. I was riding on Union Turnpike once, in the traffic lane, more or less during late rush hour on a fall night, when all of a sudden a woman starts crossing the street just as I’m coming by. No idea why. I was right behind a car. I assume since she was looking in my direction, and I had a headlight, she would have noticed me and not started crossing. Or perhaps she assumed since I was on a bike I was going a lot slower than I was (a common mistake I see many people make). Anyway, I yanked the handlebars to go left and she fortunately noticed me and leaped back. I’d say my handlebar missed her by 6 inches. Given that I was going about 33 mph (slight downgrade plus I was in the wake of the car in front of me) it would have been ugly. I actually crashed once at 37 mph after hitting a pothole, but I was OK. I slide on the ground until I stopped. Just bad road rash. A collision with a person at those speeds though would be much worse.

  • FED UP WITH IT

    WHAT THE F*CK? LET DIMAS DEBRITO SIT IN A F’ING JAIL CELL WHILE THE COLLISION INVESTIGATION SQUAD DOES ITS WORK. HOW IS THIS EVEN REMOTELY ACCEPTABLE TO NEW YORKERS? IF DIMAS KILLED THIS WOMAN WITH A GUN OR VIRTUALLY ANY OTHER WEAPON, HE’D BE IN JAIL RIGHT NOW, WAITING FOR THE POLICE AND JUSTICE SYSTEM TO SORT OUT WHETHER OR NOT HE IS GUILTY OF A CRIME. WHY IS IT SO DIFFERENT WHEN THE KILLING IS DONE WITH A CAR? IF THIS IS “VISION ZERO,” BILL DE BLASIO, THEN VISION ZERO IS A JOKE.

  • Charlie

    I wonder if this is the guy:

    https://www.facebook.com/dimas.debrito

    Given the lack of action by NYPD, is it safe to assume that Dimas Debrito is still driving around New York City, assuming his vehicle was not too badly damaged while mowing down these poor, innocent women?

  • Flakker

    If… we can’t make the political forces or cops agree that this is a crime, can we at least write a law saying that swerving onto a sidewalk to avoid a car is not a defense? “This car jumped out at me so I had to crash into pedestrians”

  • Maggie

    In a car in the city at 25 mph, just tap the brakes. Nothing is worth driving up on the sidewalk and killing a bystander.

  • I lost control of my gun when another gun owner walked in front and therefore I shot that innocent lady. Can I go free now?

  • Bernard Finucane

    The state issues the driver’s license. Is there a law to revoke licenses for bad driving? Maybe you should start there.

    Also NYC needs bollards everywhere. That awful street corner needs curb extensions.

  • armyvet00

    So the brakes on a bike are as powerful as those on a car?

  • Joe R.

    It all depends upon how well they’re adjusted and the skill level of the rider. On average I would say a car can stop more quickly from any given speed because all the driver needs to do is mash on the brake pedal. With antilock brakes you don’t even have to worry about sliding. A bike requires a certain amount of skill and practice to get quick stops. I’ve practiced panic stops to the point I can reliably stop from 20 mph in about one car length. That’s modulating the front brake so the bike is on the verge of doing an endover. I’d say most riders are lucky to stop in twice that distance. The ones who insist on using only the back brake probably take half a block to stop from 20 mph.

  • armyvet00

    Motorcycle drivers often undertake the same type of practice- and car drivers do not, hence the problem. Car drivers do not take simple steps to be better drivers, instead they just say “a car cut me off” and our system says “ok”, instead of asking why the driver wasn’t in control of their vehicle.

  • neroden

    There is a law which revokes licenses for bad driving. However, THE POLICE have to actually REPORT the bad driving.

    Which the deeply corrupt NYPD are presumably not doing.

  • neroden

    Yep. The corrupt, criminal NYPD are now engaged in a criminal conspiracy to keep this dangerous driver on the streets so that he can mow down more women on sidewalks.

  • neroden

    This is why Cy Vance needs to be replaced as district attorney, and this is why the NYPD needs to be replaced with an actual police force.

    We should thank Newsday for naming the killer. The NYPD usually protect the killer by hiding his or her name (while, of course, refusing to arrest or prosecute the killer.)

    A “police department” which spends its time and energy protecting killers from justice is not a police department any more. And a DA who protects killers from justice is not doing his job.

  • neroden

    I have stopped a car from 70 mph to 0 on an expressway in three carlengths without swerving — to avoid a stopped car in front of me. (I was on a single lane with Jersey barriers on either side.)

    All competent drivers with functioning cars can stop in less than a car length at 25 mph. Presumably Mr. Dimas Debrito was *driving recklessly*, probably faster than 25 mph….

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Dimas Debrito, the curb-jumping driver who killed 24-year-old Mallory Weisbrod and injured two others last August, pled guilty on Thursday to two misdemeanors for reckless endangerment and failure to exercise due care leading to serious physical injury. He will also agree to a six-month license suspension. In another case, a driver will receive six months jail time after […]