Video: Cyclist Survives Intentional Hit-and-Run on Second Avenue

The driver responsible for the June 22 collision has still not been identified, and NYPD told the victim he may not be apprehended.

A nearby security camera caught the moment when a hit-and-run motorist intentionally struck Sam Goater on Second Avenue.
A nearby security camera caught the moment when a hit-and-run motorist intentionally struck Sam Goater on Second Avenue.

On the morning of June 22, Sam Goater was biking from Grand Central Terminal to work in downtown Brooklyn along Second Avenue. At 12th Street, he encountered a motorist in a blue BMW parked in the middle of the protected bike lane and exchanged a few frustrated words, then continued on his way.

Ten blocks later, at 2nd Street, where the parking protection is interrupted by a construction zone approaching Houston Street, the same motorist plowed right into Goater from behind, knocking him off his bike and throwing him 15 feet through the air.

Goater says the gap in protection on this block — which been a bike lane-less construction zone for years — gave his assailant an opening he never should have been able to take advantage of. Miraculously, he sustained only cuts, bruises, and some lingering pain in his back and head. Doctors said he had no serious injuries.

The scene was captured on the security camera of a store across the street, which Strong Towns posted yesterday and Goater has given us permission to share:

The attack came seemingly out of nowhere. “I used to box a little bit and it felt like I got punched in the head,” Goater told Streetsblog this morning.

At the scene of the crash, two officers from the 9th Precinct arrived, and Goater says one was immediately skeptical of his story, asking whether he was in the bike lane or ran a red light.

Police checked the security footage of the nearby Manhattan Mini Storage but it didn’t show the collision. And that appears to be the extent of the initial investigation. Goater got the footage in this video himself the day after the crash.

“I kind of had to do my own detective work to get the video, they wouldn’t have gotten it on their own,” he said. About two weeks went by before he successfully got through to an NYPD detective, who was assigned to the case on July 5 and is still working on it.

The footage in this clip doesn’t identify the vehicle, however. “[The detective] says there’s no way to get the guy’s license plate, so we don’t know who it is,” Goater said.

NYPD’s investigation might have been able to ID the driver had officers conducted a more extensive sweep of security footage nearby early on. But if other cameras did capture the vehicle’s plates, that footage may have been overwritten.

The way things stand now, a driver who intentionally rammed another human being with potentially deadly force is still at large, and it’s anyone’s guess whether NYPD will be able to apprehend him.

  • NYPD’s behavior is predictably awful, but there’s a fair amount of DOT negligence at play here. People have been complaining about the lack of protection leading to Houston St for years and the on-again, off-again construction there of late has only heightened the need for accommodations for cyclists at one of the busiest bike lane junctions in the city.

    Sadly, all anyone has received in response to concerns is the typical directive to file a 311 report or contact a boro commissioner. I don’t care how angry a driver gets. The city has a responsibility to make sure they can’t take their anger out like this.

  • JarekFA

    This is felony assault and the driver should be apprehended and charged. I mean, there’s a fucking psycho roaming our streets. Like APB type shit. WTF NYC.

  • William Lawson

    Same thing happened to me back in April – words with a reckless driver, who then intentionally rear ended me at high speed. If I hadn’t made sure to roll to the right when I was hit, I would have been dead. NYPD arrested me after the incident, caused me additional injuries in the process, and subsequently falsified 2 reports to make it look as if it was partly my fault. They charged the driver with vehicular assault, not attempted murder (which it clearly was). They have not made any attempt to speak to me since it happened in relation to the case against the driver. I honestly get the feeling that they’re in awe of the driver who hit me, him having achieved something which they’d quite like to do to a cyclist themselves.

    This guy’s attempted murder is why there should be cameras at every intersection. There are way too many murderous psychopaths on the road and that should be good enough reason for the city to identify NYC drivers as a huge potential threat to innocent New Yorkers, as much of a threat as gang bangers and rapists. That they didn’t even bother seeking footage of this serious felony tells you everything about little the NYPD gives a shit about cyclists.

  • JarekFA

    Also, WTF will it take for us to actually have NYPD patrolling our streets on bicycle.

    In order for the NYPD to be an actual effective an equal partner in implentation of Vision Zero and we all acknowledge making transportation safer for vulnerable street users is a key component, then when in all godly fuck will they actually do regular bike patrols, which is absolutely a necessary but not sufficient condition for achieving the goal of Vision Zero.

    Could you imagine if you regularly saw NYPD on bikes in the 2nd ave bike lane. Could you imagine how their enforcement prioritizes would change as they’d be able to appreciate the degree of unnecessary and illegal harm cars regularly put vulnerable street users in?

    It’s just all a gigantic fuck you to the residents of this city. Makes me so angry. Someone could be intentionally run over and the NYPD treat you like a whore robbed by a john.

  • dave “paco” abraham

    Well said Doug. I hope we get to a world where NYPD does thorough investigations of these types of crimes but until then… it is such an easy lift for DOT to drop a jersey barrier there and keep a protected lane continuous. The more physical protection, the fewer tragedies we’ll have to handle overall. Bureaucracy is no excuse for inaction.

  • Jesse

    Attempted murder

  • What’s frustrating about DOT’s institutional response is how many people we know there who really would like to make these fixes. I wish they could be empowered to intervene faster – as fast as I’m sure they’d like to!

  • jeremy

    So there’s about 3 vehicles that witnessed the accident, yet no one took the guys plate? WTF

  • JarekFA

    If someone did that to a cop on bike, the driver would see 30 years to life.

  • William Lawson

    I’m sure there will be a post in due course here, but I just read that Neftaly Ramirez’s killer has been identified by the NYPD and will not be charged, based on the fact that – wait for it – he went on with his business picking up trash after he killed him. According to the NYPD, that is enough to prove that he had no awareness of the killing. As if a killer has never killed someone and carried on like nothing happened to make himself appear innocent. You cannot make this stuff up. They might as well just disband the NYPD on the basis that their stupidity has reached a point where they’re functionally useless.

  • JarekFA

    Have you tried contacting the Manhattan Borough Commissioner? Lol. They don’t care.

  • William Lawson

    I would have followed him. There’s no way he got through the Houston St/2nd Ave snarl in a hurry. Dammit I would’ve handed him on foot.

  • HamTech87

    Precinct phone number? City Council number? Let’s get on the phone and start demanding a serious investigation This road-raging motorist is still out there.

  • Brian Howald

    There’s no affirmative defense for violating a cyclist’s right of way under Section 19-190 on the basis that you didn’t see the victim or the crash. The NYPD seems to be conflating that with an affirmative defense for leaving the scene of a crash.

  • Jesse

    no question

  • jeremy

    The NYPD probably said “you didn’t die you should feel lucky”. Case closed

  • JarekFA

    However, you’re allowed to if you’re just running in real quick to get a coffee or drop your kids off.

    – De Blasio

    [He really said something to that effect. Wish I could find the quote].

  • MattyCiii

    There are EZPass transponder readers all around Manhattan.

    The city could run a query of all EZPass transponders linked to blue BMWs that passed through that area around that time. They’d have 1, maybe 2 car owners to follow up with…

  • William Lawson

    Whoa poindexter, this is the NYPD we’re talking about here. Could you possibly illustrate that with pictures?

  • William Lawson

    Really? I think he would have been shot on the spot. At least 50 rounds.

  • dave “paco” abraham

    It may seriously be time to start doing advocacy protests at 55 Water Street. They’ve got an amazing toolkit and incredibly talent on their staff but do not go far enough. It’s like Batman showing up without his utility belt.

  • Larry Littlefield

    It seems every time I flip in on to see the weather, Fox5 News in the morning has a security camera video of a perp running away from a crime scene, released to them by the police with a request that anyone who knows the person involved call crimestoppers.

    I wonder if they’d run a whole series of these, one after the other, along with “police blamed the victim?”

  • Daphna

    This happened in the 9th Precinct. Those who want better police priorities need to attend the 9th Police Precinct Community Council meetings held the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Precinct. President of Community Council: Neil Barsky. Or let the Captain of the 9th Precinct, Vincent Greany, know the policing priorities that the community needs and wants. http://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/bureaus/patrol/precincts/9th-precinct.page

    The “cranks” in any community get attention and get police responding to their pet peeves. As an example, people against electric assist bikes (which are legal at the Federal level but which the city has local law against which conflicts with Federal policy…) show up and complain to their elected officials and get attention. Those who want safer streets need to speak up since speaking up works. Call or email the Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer, 212- 531-1609, and ask for new appointees to community boards who will support street improvements, and ask for more police resources put into crimes committed by motor vehicle drivers. http://manhattanbp.nyc.gov/html/contact/contact.shtml

    Also call or email the City Council representative for that district, Rosie Mendez. https://council.nyc.gov/district-2/

    Also call or email the public advocate for NYC, Letitia James. http://pubadvocate.nyc.gov/staff

    When elected officials hear from unhappy constituents, they in turn will contact the police, and the NYPD responds to pressure from elected officials.

  • Brian Howald

    Seeing as it doesn’t help when we have video, I’m not sure what pictures might accomplish.

  • When operating a piece of heavy equipment, not realizing you’ve killed someone should be seen as an admission of liability.

  • JarekFA

    C’mon, this wasn’t terrorism. Why would they investigate something like this?

    /S

  • AMH

    I’m sure someone would turn it into an invasion of privacy lawsuit.

  • jeremy

    This was back in June, the guy probably got his car fixed and painted a different color

  • Vooch

    what he’d do with his parking placard ?

  • 9th Precinct. This is the precinct that responded to cyclist Kelly Hurley being killed by a truck driver making an illegal turn by…..ticketing cyclists.

    http://nyc.streetsblog.org/2017/04/13/the-9th-precinct-is-ticketing-cyclists-one-block-from-where-kelly-hurley-was-struck-and-killed/

    We have desperate need of a department wide change. Ticketing cyclist victims of reckless drivers is as senseless as ticketing pedestrian victims of reckless cyclists.

    The NYPD is notoriously resistant to change, we need the NYC Council to provide oversight via Mayoral orders or legislation. This Transportation Alternatives petition has gotten almost 800 of a thousand needed signers, it’s asking NYC Council members to demand the NYPD create and follow a sensible department wide protocol, rather than pointless, precinct by precinct knee jerk reactions.

    https://campaigns.transalt.org/petition/stop-ticketing-cyclists-when-reckless-drivers-kill

  • Brian Howald

    So you’re saying we should toll the East River bridges as a crime detection strategy?

  • Brian Howald

    From http://www.wnyc.org/story/nyc-sets-bike-lane-record-cant-keep-cars-out-them/:

    “‘There are people stop in a bike lane to, you know, let someone off at an appointment or something like that, or just drop off kids at home or something quickly,’ de Blasio said. ‘That’s a different matter than someone who double-parks and leaves their car there.'”

  • The 9th Precinct’s twitter handle – @NYPD9Pct

    BP Gale Brewer – @galeabrewer

    Council member for District 2 – @RosieMendez

    Public Advocate Letitia James – @TishJames

  • In Mr Ramirez’s case, some loose lipped cop gave the perpetrator a defense tip via the media…..“Cops … said it’s possible the driver didn’t realize the truck hit a person,” the News reported.”

    http://nyc.streetsblog.org/2017/07/24/nypd-defends-perp-and-tickets-cyclists-after-garbage-truck-driver-kills-neftaly-ramirez-and-flees-scene/

  • com63

    I’m sure NYPD is probably already logging everyone’s license plates somehow.

  • Mathew Smithburger

    NYPD and NYTs and the Office of the Mayor of New York have decided the greatest threat (even though the empirical evidence would prove to the stupidest of observers the exact opposite) to the health and safety of all New York City residents would be the threat posed by cyclists not motorists. As a cyclist who has been hit, witnessed other cyclist hit by motorists running red lights, speeding, texting etc I must disbelieve the actual numbers and my own observations and trust those who though they travel through our city in the back of an SUV and live in the suburbs have a better grasp of reality.

  • William Lawson

    I wouldn’t even be surprised if it was the same asshole who rear ended me deliberately back in April. It’s literally about 4 blocks away from my incident.

  • William Lawson

    Interesting, so it’s possible that the killer might have seen no other option but to hand himself in to the police and admit everything in the face of a net closing in on him, if it wasn’t for the NYPD’s helpful little tip about how to get away with it. Definitely a possibility in my eyes.

  • relevantjeff

    Be careful what you wish for. Being on bikes themselves won’t make the NYPD give two shits about cyclists.

  • Joe R.

    Exactly. You’ll just have assholes on bikes instead of assholes in cars.

  • Joe R.

    BMW-the ultimate small penis antidote.

  • Driver
  • BruceWillisThrowsACar@You

    And shot innocent bystanders as well since that’s how they roll IRL.

  • Jeff

    NYPD treats you like a whore robbed by a john

    This is a fantastic analogy for the way NYPD treats victims of traffic violence.

  • djx

    Ninth Precinct: (212) 477-7811
    City Council President 212-788-7210
    City Council member depends on where you live: https://council.nyc.gov/districts/
    Have at it.

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