Ninth Ave Road Rage Case: Bengen Cleared; Gonzalez Files to Dismiss
We’ve got a quick update on the legal aftermath of the Ninth Avenue road rage case, in which the Manhattan DA’s office charged both cyclist Ray Bengen and SUV driver Gus Gonzalez.
The DA has dropped the charges against Bengen, who on May 21 was doored and knocked to the pavement by Gonzalez. The charges apparently arose from property damage sustained by Gonzalez’s Ford Excursion as Bengen attempted to bike around the vehicle, which was blocking the Ninth Avenue protected bike path.
Bengen tells us that, before the case was dismissed, the DA charged him with two counts of criminal mischief and one count of "auto stripping," all class A misdemeanors. He had expected to be charged with just one count of criminal mischief. In the end, he said, the DA’s office decided the case could not be prosecuted beyond a reasonable doubt.
Meanwhile, the case against Gus Gonzalez is still active. Last week, prosecutors filed an affidavit in New York Criminal Court in support of the third-degree assault charge — also a class A misdemeanor — against Gonzalez. At the same hearing, the attorney for Gonzalez filed a motion to dismiss, according to a court officer. The case was adjourned to January 11.