Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Cy Vance

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.

Rubin and Denise Baum. Photo via Daily News

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, a decorated Korean War medic, was 80 years old.

A few hours after Baum was killed, NYPD announced to the media that “no criminality was suspected.” On September 28, City Council Member Dan Garodnick, who represents the district where the crash occurred, sent Kelly a letter requesting that NYPD "conduct a full investigation" into the crash.

"I ask for you to share the results of your investigation," Garodnick wrote. "Further, please advise if NYPD has referred this case to the Accident Investigation Squad for additional investigation and/or to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office regarding possible criminal charges."

Kelly has yet to respond to Garodnick. "We look forward to hearing back from the NYPD on the results of their investigation," Garodnick told Streetsblog in an emailed statement.

At a public event on October 5, long-time street safety advocate Charles Komanoff asked Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance if his office has issued subpoenas for "black box" data from the vehicles involved in the crash. Vance said he didn't know, and said that obtaining such evidence is “complicated.”

As a candidate in 2009, Vance said that as district attorney he would consider vehicle black box data “critical” to crash investigations, and that he would issue subpoenas to acquire it.

Vance's office does not comment on vehicular crimes. An email from Streetsblog to NYPD regarding the crash, the investigation and Garodnick's letter has not been returned.

Earlier this month, the City Council passed a package of bills to regulate delivery cyclists. Legislation intended to compel NYPD to comply with state law in its handling of traffic crashes, which kill hundreds of New Yorkers a year, remains in limbo.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

SEE IT: How Much (Or How Little) Driving is Going on in America’s Top Metros

Check it out: The lowest-mileage region isn't the one you'd think.

April 21, 2024

Justice Dept., Citing Streetsblog Reporting, Threatens to Sue NYPD Over Cops’ Sidewalk Parking

The city is now facing a major civil rights suit from the Biden Administration if it doesn't eliminate illegal parking by cops and other city workers.

April 19, 2024

What to Say When Someone Claims ‘No One Bikes or Walks in Bad Weather’

Yes, sustainable modes are more vulnerable to bad weather. But that's why we should invest more in them — not less.

April 19, 2024

NYC Transit’s New Operations Planning Chief Wants To Fight ‘Ghost Buses’

One-time transit advocate and current MTA Paratransit VP Chris Pangilinan will oversee bus and subway operations for the whole city.

April 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Gimme Bus Shelter Edition

The days of the Landmarks Preservation Commission reviewing every proposed bus shelter in landmarked districts may be no more. Plus more news.

April 19, 2024
See all posts