Daily News: Is There a Person in Your Parking Spot? Kill Them.

amd_chef_ke_hai_du_full.jpgKe Hai Du. Photo: Daily News


In the unofficial battle for the most irresponsible, over-the-top media endorsement of motorist entitlement, the Daily News took the trophy this morning, declaring that drivers are within their rights to run down human beings who stand between their vehicles and on-street parking.

Under an arguably racist headline, News editors claim that sushi chef Ke Hai Du got what he deserved when motorist Paul Todd hit him with his car during a dispute over a Lower Manhattan parking spot on October 9. According to reports, as Du stood in a space to hold it for his boss, Todd nudged his Lincoln into Du’s knees, then ran over his foot, breaking it.

To many people accustomed to the norms of civilized society, this would seem a clear case of assault, if not something more serious. But to the News it’s a game, which the victim rightfully lost when he challenged the "finders keepers" rule — or, as News editors put it, "a basic and inviolable tenet of the universe."

What Du did is right up there with
stealing a taxi from the person who hailed it, or bringing 15 items to
the "10 items or less" register, or stopping at the top of a subway
stairway to read e-mail, or backing up in an E-ZPass lane.

The lesson is clear: Park your carcass in a parking space, and you may end up as road kill.

  • Glock

    Just wondering if the guy who got hit happened to be carrying a gun, could he legally shoot the driver in self-defense? Cops have gotten acquitted for shooting drivers who were dragging them or trying to hit them, so there is precedent.

  • I don’t understand. I agree with the idea that standing in the street to reserve a parking space is on par with bringing too many items into the supermarket express lane or blocking a subway stairway: rude, but not a crime or otherwise something to which violence is an appropriate response. Does the News suggest I should start counting items in my fellow supermarket shoppers’ carts and begin fights with those who violate the norms?

  • vnm

    The Daily News editorial is ridiculous. To the phrase “express your outrage through the use of deadly force” I would add: “with a motor vehicle.” If you purposefully strike someone with your fist, or shoot them with a gun, you will likely be charged with a crime. If you purposefully push your two-ton metal and glass weapon which doubles as a transportation device into someone’s body, you are completely within your rights. In fact, the Daily News thinks you should do it. Just insane.

  • bc

    Absolutely insane. What do you think the Daily News would say if I intentionally rammed a car parked in the bike lane with my bike?

  • Glenn

    It’s there a law against encouraging vigilantism?

  • Yeah, I would argue with the racist interpretation of the headline. If making fun of a Chinese guy’s name is racist, then you’re anti-Semitic for making fun of Lew Fidler’s name. Plus, there’s so much else that’s wrong with the editorial that bringing racism into it is completely unnecessary.

  • The private auto is self-indulgent and anti-social, it causes countries to be invaded and biosphere’s to be destroyed. What will it take to make humans turn away from it?

  • Doug

    In a vacuum, the headline is “arguably racist,” but given the types of headlines these papers run I think it passes the smell test. When the Mayor erupts at a reporter and the Daily News later runs a headline that says, “Boom-Berg,” is that anti-Semitic? Think of the puns on A-Rod when the Yankees star was caught cheating on his wife. There’s one rule in tabloid journalism: if someone has a name that rhymes with something else, they’ll use the rhyme.

    Let’s focus on the real issue: assault. Plain and simple.

  • Alex

    There is clearly a double standard for autos vs. pedestrians in our society. However this is a clear case of assault and the driver should be charged and persecuted for his idiotic antics.

  • Anon

    All of the above being true, it is also arrogant to send an underling out to reserve a parking spot for you, as if somehow that is your personal plot of asphalt. If we assume that the street is public space, and the curbside parking rules are for parking, it is for whatever driver gets there first — not for someone who can send their employee out as a valet. The chef and his boss weren’t exactly siezing the space for pedestrians in a Parking Day action.

  • Doug

    Totally irrelevant, anon. If the two had an argument about saving a parking space, I’d side with the driver over the guy standing in the spot.

    But once it moves into the world of assault it’s crossed a line. As someone mentioned above, can I punch someone for having too many items in the express checkout lane? Once I do that, it doesn’t matter where the person had 13 items or 130 items. I’ve crossed a line, a point of departure from the earlier, now irrelevant offense.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but in this case one of the wrongs far outweighs the other.

  • kapes

    This is not a case of auto vs. pedestrian, and it has nothing to do with reclaiming street space from cars for people.
    One cannot reserve a parking space for their boss. I had to try to do it with cones when PAing on a shoot years ago (parking had not been held) and a motorist rightly drove over the cone. Sushi restaurants don’t one the spaces in front of their establishment, and neither do Park Avenue apartment buildings (though they put out signs implying they do).

    Yes, one shouldn’t run over other people’s feet with ones car.
    But it seems that you are implying Du had a moral or legal right to reserve the spot for what is just a different motor vehicle.

    Perhaps this conflict is a good case for increased on street parking rates…..

  • kapes

    “one,” “own” – same thing, right?

  • What do you guys suggest the driver should have done to be able to park in the spot that was rightfully his to park in?

  • Glenn

    nanterking – driver should roll down his/her window and speak to the person, not run over their foot or threat them with bodily harm.

  • What do you guys suggest the driver should have done to be able to park in the spot that was rightfully his to park in?

    I’ve been told that the City government has staff that can be called in to sanction people who break these rules. In fact, I believe their central office is just a few blocks from that parking space.

    Oh, sorry, I forgot, in the Daily News universe, it’s impossible for TEAs to actually fulfill any useful function.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Here is a luxury people are willing to kill for, and the city is giving it away for free?

  • t

    “What do you guys suggest the driver should have done to be able to park in the spot that was rightfully his to park in?”

    Almost anything short of causing physical injury to another person. Why is this such a hard concept to understand? It’s called proportionate response.

  • Katie

    Columbia City, MO just amended its city code to prohibit the harassment of pedestrians. Sounds like NY could use something similar. Imagine what the city would be like if “honking, shouting, or any conduct with the intent of intimidation or injury” aimed at pedestrians was illegal.


    P.S. Bicyclists receive the same protections under the amended law.


  • beng722

    kapes is right about street parking rates. there shouldn’t even be such a thing as free parking in Manhattan.

  • Kaja

    It’s Daily News for christ’s sake, quit paying attention to it.

  • The owner of the restaurant sent out his employee to engage in illegal behavior. In conducting said illegal action, he was assaulted by a driver in a vehicle.

    I don’t have sympathy for any of these characters, nor do I think that it’s worthy of a Streetsblog article, except to point out the continued ills of driving abuse and parking abuse (by the owner of the restaurant and the driver involved).

  • Aaron

    As an attorney in NYC, I can tell you that it is illegal to do any kind of spot holding short of having a car parked in the spot.
    It is also probably a D felony to deliberately strike someone with your vehicle. Its assault and the car would be considered a weapon.
    Also, if the spot holder did have a gun, it would be illegal for him to use it. Under NY law, you have a duty to retreat unless you are in your home.
    And WTF? this car was coming and the guy didnt get out of the way?
    I don’t have sympathy for any of these people- the holder, the boss, or the driver.
    Unless, you want to hire me to represent you….
    I do criminal defense and civil litigation!

  • Aaron

    And what should the driver have done? block the spot with his car and call the cops. self help like this is a big no-no.

  • Jason A

    Larry’s comment says it all.

  • > Unless, you want to hire me to represent you….

    You _are_ the best poster in this thread. Link to your site, I may in fact hire you, I am certain I’ll need a criminal defense attorney some day (simply because so many reasonbale parts of my daily routine are illegal, and there are so many cops paid to bust me for them…)

  • Another frustrating aspect of our current vehicular laws is that the offense that you think would be most applicable for such a situation, Vehicular Assault, is not available here because the driver (as far as I know) was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Yup, an element of the offense is that the defendant is in violation of VTL 1192, the section of the VTL dealing with influence. “Regular” old assault is of course available, but the law says it is impossible to charge someone with vehicular assault unless you also happen to be under the influence.

  • zach

    I think we need a campaign to rename the current law to intoxicated vehicular assault, in order to use vehicular assault for people who assault with their vehicles while sober. The words are clear, and if what Peter G says here is true, and I believe it’s been mentioned here again, the category needs to be renamed.


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