Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Carnage

NYPD Crash Info Normally Released in a “Timely Fashion”? News to Us.

Hours after an NYPD officer reportedly responding to an emergency call lost control of his cruiser, jumped a curb and hit five pedestrians late last month, another cop -- this one off-duty -- allegedly ran a red light and mowed down an Upper East Side man.

browne.jpgPaul Browne. Photo: Access Hollywood

According to the Daily News, Sgt. Joseph Spiekerman has been charged with felony vehicular assault and DWI for striking 68-year-old Barry Gintel with his Volvo at York Ave. and E. 86th St. the morning of June 29.

Gintel -- vice president of the Fire Bell Club of New York, a group of Fire Department buffs -- was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell.

He underwent emergency surgery for two fractured legs, broken ribs, a ruptured spleen, and head and neck injuries.

Police officials declined to explain why they failed to release details of the crash and Spiekerman's arrest sooner.

The crash occurred at 6:40 a.m. near The Mansion diner, right after Gintel had bought a large coffee and two buttered rolls.

"I give him his change, look out the window, and I see he got hit and goes flying 10, maybe 20 feet in the air," said Leticia Guerrero, 24, a cashier.

Guerrero said the impact shattered the windshield of Spiekerman's silver Volvo. The cop got out and tried to help Gintel, who lives about a block away. 

As far as we know, there was no media coverage of this crash until the News broke the story of the NYPD's lag in releasing information about the incident. From a News follow-up story, published today:

"There was a short period when there was additional investigation underway that required a short delay in making it public," Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said in an e-mail.

"Normally, I make such information public in a timely fashion. I should have done it sooner. I didn't."

While it's encouraging that the department and prosecutors are acting on this case, those who follow such incidents might be taken aback by Browne's claim that information on traffic crashes is usually made public without delay. In fact, it's rarely made public at all. As we've written before, traffic crash data is a closely held NYPD secret (whether or not officers or departmental vehicles are involved), and obtaining crash reports -- even when your family member is the victim -- is a complex, frustrating process, for which the average person has neither the time nor patience.

Given the conflicting accounts and potentially grievous consequences of the June 30 NYPD-induced carnage, we look forward to Browne's very public release of the department's findings.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

SUV Driver Kills Girl, 3, in Harlem, Wounds Mom And Young Brothers

The girl's death marks another grim entry into a crisis of pedestrian traffic deaths this year.

July 12, 2024

Moped and E-Bike Safety Legislation Becomes State Law

Retailers must register mopeds at the point of sale, in addition to giving new owners safety information, under new legislation signed by Gov. Hochul on Thursday.

July 12, 2024

Roadway Dining May See Dramatic Decline Under Eric Adams As Deadline Looms

Fewer than two dozen restaurants are in the pipeline for roadside seating, according to public records.

July 12, 2024

Opinion: Congestion Pricing Is A Compromise

Alternatives paths to cut congestion and pollution and fund the MTA make congestion tolls look like a cheap parlor trick.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Department of Victim Blaming Edition

Traffic deaths in the city are on pace to reach their highest number since at least 2013 — and DOT is reportedly blaming "jaywalking." Plus more news.

July 12, 2024
See all posts