NYPD Denies Request for Files Related to Fatal Manhattan Curb-Jump Crash

Mike Rogalle appeared in a promotional video with Neil deGrasse Tyson, who noted his death on Facebook. Image: NOVA/YouTube via Facebook
Mike Rogalle appeared in a promotional video with Neil deGrasse Tyson before Rogalle was killed by a curb-jumping motorist in 2012. The driver was not charged. Image: NOVA/YouTube via Facebook

NYPD rejected a Streetsblog freedom of information request for files related to a curb-jump crash that killed a Manhattan pedestrian in the Financial District three years ago.

UPS man Mike Rogalle was working his regular route on the afternoon of April 17, 2012, when an SUV driver ran him over on the sidewalk outside 15 Beekman Street. Witnesses described an unthinkably gruesome scene, with Rogalle trapped under the vehicle before he was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Rogalle, 58, was removed from life support a few days after the crash.

Reports said there were two adults and two small children in the SUV at the time of the crash. The adult passenger, a man, was identified in the press as an FDNY inspector, and the driver was reportedly a woman. The names of the people in the SUV were not reported by the media.

NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance filed no charges against the driver who killed Mike Rogalle.

On May 7, Streetsblog filed a FOIL request for records pertaining to the crash that killed Rogalle. On May 19, NYPD Lieutenant Richard Mantellino rejected the request, citing “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” NYPD could have released the records with personal information redacted, but instead denied our request outright. Mantellino’s letter is embedded after the jump.

Streetsblog is appealing NYPD’s rejection of our request. On Tuesday we filed a separate FOIL request for relevant records from DA Vance’s office.

Last month a hit-and-run driver ran over a woman on the sidewalk near the spot where Rogalle was hit. Vance filed felony charges in that case. Both crashes occurred near Spruce Street School, where, according to parents who have kids there, motorists regularly use the sidewalk to drive around traffic. Spruce Street parents and administrators asked DOT for improvements to Beekman before Rogalle was killed. DOT installed a stop light and street markings at Beekman and William streets but has not implemented measures, such as bollards, to keep drivers off the sidewalk.

  • Daniel S Dunnam

    Not to get all technical about it, but Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn’t run the Tysonism FB page, so NDT himself didn’t actually note the death…

  • Brad Aaron

    Corrected. Thanks.

  • Joseph Cutrufo
  • Jesse

    What makes this location somewhat unique in NYC where drivers regularly drive on the sidewalk to beat traffic jams? I mean there’s traffic everywhere in Manhattan and drivers usually don’t intentionally drive on the sidewalk to beat it.

    BTW I saw this behavior in Turkey and smugly thought to myself “never in America!”

  • Across the street from my office, outside a public rec center, pool, and library, drivers regularly mount the sidewalk when traffic is gridlocked. It won’t be a surprise when someone is injured or killed there.

  • jk

    can you get some phone video and share w Sblog?

  • Will see what I can do the next time it happens.

  • AnoNYC

    The city must install street trees and/or planters in these locations to keep the vehicles off the sidewalks.

  • NYCyclist

    Yes, inanimate objects on sidewalks are considered more valuable than sentient people.

  • How about snipers. It is insane that drivers are being permitted to use sidewalks. In NYC no less.

  • Those inanimate objects are expensive. People are priceless.

  • tbatts666

    Do it yourself. Tactical urbanism.

    It is your city.

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    Any updates to this case from July 2013?

    http://www.nydailynews.com/:

    The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau has subpoenaed the phone records of a Brooklyn cop who may have been on her cell phone when she fatally struck a Spanish teacher with a police van, police sources said Tuesday.

    Investigators are checking to see if they corroborate a witness’ claim that Officer Paula Medrano was holding her cell phone up to her ear when she turned from Hooper St. onto Broadway in Williamsburg on Saturday.

    She struck Felix Coss, 61, who was in the crosswalk when Medrano crashed into him.

  • com63

    Varick and Clarkson?

  • neroden

    Keep up the reporting. We all know NYPD is just a criminal gang, so of course they refuse to comply with the FOIL law. But the courts may disagree, once you get to that level.

  • Andrew

    “Mr. Brad Aaron” … “Dear Sir or Madam”

    !!!

  • Tyson White

    It may have to do with the fact it’s in the vicinity of the Holland Tunnel. Tunnel vision if you will… they may have seen others do it and get away with it, or they may be off duty police or fire personnel or their family memebers who hold PBA cards

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