Garodnick Wants NYPD Investigation Into Death of Pedestrian Rubin Baum

Rubin and Denise Baum

City Council Member Dan Garodnick is asking NYPD for a “full investigation” into the weekend crash that killed Upper East Side pedestrian Rubin Baum.

The news went out on Garodnick’s Twitter feed earlier today.

Baum and his wife Denise were struck at Park Avenue and E. 59th Street on Saturday, September 22, as the couple attempted to hail a cab. According to reports, the driver of a Mazda sedan ran a red light and struck a minivan. The Mazda spun into the Baums, killing Mr. Baum and injuring Mrs. Baum.

Baum was an 80-year-old decorated Korean War vet. His father was killed at the hands of a Manhattan motorist in 1977.

“If cars are obeying traffic laws, accidents like the one that led to Rubin Baum’s tragic death would be avoided,” said Garodnick in a written statement to Streetsblog. “I want to make sure the NYPD gives this and similar cases the attention they deserve.”

Only about half of New York City motorists who kill pedestrians and cyclists are cited for careless driving. Unless a motorist is under the influence, and the evidence holds up in court, criminal charges against drivers who maim and kill are extremely rare. Drivers who take a life can expect to retain or regain their driving privileges, even in cases involving alcohol or drugs.

A few hours after Baum was killed, NYPD announced to the media that “no criminality was suspected.”

In response to our e-mail from earlier this week, Erin Duggan, communications director for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, said, “We decline to comment on individual investigations, but the DA’s office reviews all fatal crashes in Manhattan.”

Baum was the 27th Manhattan pedestrian or cyclist known killed by a motorist in 2012. To date, no motorists are known to have been charged for causing a death in any of those crashes.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Ray Kelly Ignores Council Member Inquiry Into Death of Rubin Baum

|
NYPD is being characteristically closed-mouthed concerning the crash that killed Upper East Side pedestrian Rubin Baum, as Commissioner Ray Kelly has ignored a request from a City Council member to be apprised of the department’s investigation. Baum and his wife Denise were struck at Park Avenue and E. 59th Street on Saturday, September 22, as the couple […]

NYPD: 1,324 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 14 Killed in September

|
Twenty-six people were killed in New York City traffic in September, and 4,674 were injured, according to the latest NYPD crash data report [PDF]. Citywide, 13 pedestrians and one cyclist were fatally struck by drivers: six pedestrians in Manhattan; one pedestrian in the Bronx; three pedestrians in Brooklyn; and three pedestrians in Queens, where the […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Two UES Drivers Crash, Killing Rubin Baum, 80 Year-Old Pedestrian (DNA, NY1, Post) Baum’s Injured Wife: “I Want to Know Who Did This”; NYPD: “No Criminality Suspected” (News) Driver Ditches Car After Hitting Man Crossing Northern Boulevard; Victim in Critical Condition (News) 35 Year-Old Motorcyclist Dies Near Queens-Nassau Border After Driver Turns in Front of Him (Post) NYPD […]