The Post’s Highly Selective Outrage About Traffic Violence

The bicycle of the man killed by a reckless East Harlem driver fleeing police. Photo via WPIX
The bicycle of the man killed by a reckless driver fleeing police in East Harlem. Still via WPIX

Yesterday, a driver fleeing police killed a cyclist on East 129th Street near Madison Avenue. DNAinfo, the Daily News, CBS 2, and WPIX all covered the crash. So did the Post, but the paper reserved its front page for a different bike story, assigning a reporter and photographer to tail Jason Marshall, the cyclist who struck and killed pedestrian Jill Tarlov in Central Park last year.

Their “exclusive” video, shot from the front seat of a car behind Marshall, blew an important story wide open: He took a “risky ride” on a bicycle with his son yesterday and didn’t follow the letter of the law. So now we can look forward to a wave of follow-up stories from the Post about the transgressions of drivers who killed pedestrians, splashing their photos across the front page when they double-park or turn right on red. Right?

A few hours after the Post’s big scoop, there was an actual case of traffic violence on E. 129th Street near Madison Avenue. A cyclist was rear-ended and killed by a driver who kept going, hitting another car and fleeing the scene on foot with two other people.

NYPD has not released the victim’s name, pending family notification, but DNAinfo reports he was a 42-year-old professor and physician who worked at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and received his doctorate from St. Petersburg State University in Russia.

“I looked and saw the guy laying flat out in the street. He had on a white polo. He was on his right side and was completely out. He didn’t move one inch. The bike was mangled,” Lisa Luis, 35, told DNAinfo. “It was horrible.”

The driver kept going, turning south onto Madison Avenue into oncoming traffic, then turning right onto E. 128th Street, also against traffic, and striking a Volkswagen before fleeing on foot.

State courts officers saw the driver run a red light at Bruckner Boulevard and E. 138th Street, then followed. “As of now it does not appear, according to the court officers, that they were ‘in pursuit’ of the vehicle,” said David Bookstaver, director of communications for the New York Unified Court System. “They say they attempted to stop the vehicle after it dangerously went through a red light. The vehicle fled. The officers say in their statement they did not pursue but came across the vehicle after it was in an accident.”

Streetsblog has asked the court system if it has a pursuit protocol for its officers. NYPD “requires that a vehicle pursuit be terminated whenever the risks to uniformed members of the service and the public outweigh the danger to the community if [the] suspect is not immediately apprehended” [PDF]. The department has come under scrutiny in the past for pursuits that resulted in deadly or serious crashes.

The driver and the passengers who fled have not been caught as of this afternoon, NYPD said. Maybe the Post can track them down?

  • com63

    One can’t help but think that this stalking/harassment is because Marshall is black.

  • Joe R.

    I seriously can’t believe this is front page news. That and the crap about how he slowed for a red light, then “blew through the signal”. Those are mutually exclusive. As if we didn’t already need it, this is just further proof the NY Post is only good for lining litter boxes.

  • Kevin Love

    Let’s not forget the Post’s repeated predictions that launching Citi Bike would lead to blood, carnage and the sky falling.

    I have too much respect for my cat to use the Post to line his litter box.

  • Kevin Love

    But the Post repeatedly stalks/harasses in exactly the same way people who are white car drivers who kill… oh wait. They don’t.

  • Daphna

    The video refutes what Keven Fasick reported in the Post. Kevin Fasick writes Jason Marshall “slowed down as he approached the red light…. but blew through the signal…” Jason Marshall can be seen slowing for yellow light and stopping completely for the red. He stops, he puts his foot down, he leans on the handlebar, he talks to his son, he looks both ways. Only when there is no more vehicle or pedestrian traffic does he slowly get on his bike and proceed. The light turns green as he reaches the other side of the intersection. So he stayed stopped for almost the whole light cycle. Kevin Fasick omits the fact that Jason Marshall stopped fully and stayed stopped a long time before proceeding. Then when he did proceed, it was very slowly; characterizing it as he “blew” or “ran” the red light is another falsehood.

    The picture of Json Marshall and the video tell a completely different story that what Kevin Fasick wrote.

  • qrt145

    The Post has an updated story about the crash in East Harlem: the victim’s name was Sergei Musatov. http://nypost.com/2015/05/28/cyclist-killed-by-wrong-way-hit-and-run-driver/

  • qrt145

    And even then, they can’t help but bringing up how “pricey” the victim’s bike was…

    Spend $30,000 on an SUV -> Real Middle-Class New Yorker.

    Spend $3,000 on a bike -> yuppie.

  • Joe R.

    I just watched the video. I’ve seen more professional stuff posted on you-tube by 10 year olds. If this is what passes for journalism at the NY Post then that says a lot about the intelligence of their readers.

    On another note, aren’t there anti-stalking laws against this kind of thing? I don’t think you can publicly post a video of a person where that person is the main subject without their consent. Now if they had been filming something else, and Marshall happened to briefly enter the scene, that would be another thing entirely. However, the sole purpose here was to film him and only him (and hopefully catch him technically violating some law).

    Why can’t the Post follow that NJ driver who drove on the sidewalk?

    Incidentally, with all the anti-bike sentiment in this city in law enforcement circles color me surprised he was never charged with anything. I half expected the police to arrest him, then hold a press conference a day later about how he was shot “while trying to escape police custody”.

  • Jason

    has anyone mentioned the cover they ran this weekend? something to the effect of “POISON APPLE – nyc kids struggle b/c of bad air”.

    https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/front-page-526-copy.jpg

    I couldn’t believe it.

    the number of column inches that garbage rag uses to defending every new yorker’s right to their own polluting-2-ton-metal-box (while mocking and denigrating any alternative form of transportation) – and they have the nerve to wax indignant over air quality?

    they are completely shameless. just despicable, awful people.

  • Sean Kelliher

    Just a reminder – that the “everyone needs to do their part” mantra of Vision Zero is little more than a sound bite. As a pedestrian or bicyclist, you can be hyper-vigilant. Still, there is nothing you can do to save yourself when someone decides to be reckless behind the wheel.

    If we want a safe city, we need well-designed streets that separate vulnerable users from motor vehicles, and make it as challenging as possible to drive like a maniac.

    One last things – the perp walk -where NYPD alerts the media and walks the cuffed suspects from the squad car to the precinct – this is what those three in the Mercedes deserve.

  • Joe R.

    They forget to include some bold type right below that headline:

    “Getting behind the wheel lowers most adult’s IQ scores”.

  • walks bikes drives

    I believe they are well within their right to doiw him. But I think he might have a case for libel. What the reporter wrote and what the video show are two very different things. The fact that they were purposefully following him could work on his behalf. They obviously were trying to cause trouble. All he would have to do is prove some sort of harm.

  • Bolwerk

    Nothing is worse than violating lawful authority.I always love The Post’s bons motspublicly shaming lawbreakers.

    I couldn’t find the original, but surely someone remembers the one that kind of went like this? Anyone?

  • MatthewEH

    I hereby invite Kevin Fasick to come sit in a residential neighborhood or on the Central Park loop with a radar gun to clock driver and cyclist speeds.

  • vnm

    Just a quick question because I’m having trouble following the narrative here. If the hit-and-run driver crashed and fled on foot at or near 128th & Madison right after the hit-and-run, how did the Courts officers then see him or her driving the car again at 138th & Bruckner?

  • Andres Dee

    “Bicyclers who kill pededestrians should be barred from ever again riding a bike. If they want to get around, they should buy a car.” (/sarc)

  • Daphna

    Yes! What Kevin Fasick wrote and what his video show are different. I am surprised the Post put that video in the article because it contradicts Fasick’s narrative and turns Fasick into a complete joke.

  • Joe R.

    Agreed on the libel. Also, if his son ends up getting bullied at school on account of this that’s definitely harm.

  • JamesR

    It’s a lot less subtle than that. More like one is obtuse and naive if they don’t see that the purpose of this piece is to stoke fears of the Other (i.e. ‘lawless darkies on bikes’) among their Archie Bunker readership. Sickening.

  • AndreL

    This would only be stalking if the purpose was something to use as a threat to the safety of the person, as in cases of actual stalking. If they were following someone in public places (not hacking into a home’s camera or else) for the purpose of register behavior and then publish it, it is perfectly legal. IT’s about holding people accountable.

  • no one

    I have seen many instances where bicyclists ( even some pedestrians too ) displayed zero regard for their own safety. You can’t just blame drivers, you can’t just educate one group and not any of the others, that is why zero vision will fail. Start educating non-drivers and this problem may get a bit better.

  • no one

    From what I understand, that bad bicyclist got off pretty easy. I bet the driver and passenger that fled, get handed down an actual punishment, unlike the bicyclist.

  • qrt145

    Drivers who kill pedestrians get off pretty easy too almost every time as long as they are sober and don’t flee the scene. The NYPD calls that “no criminality suspected”. The killing in Harlem was unusual in that the NYPD did NOT say “no criminality suspected”, but it would be hard to justify such a statement in this case even by the low standards of the NYPD, given that the suspects were fleeing law enforcement in a stolen vehicle, drove like maniacs, and fled the scene. I hope they get caught and charged with felony murder.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

In Memoriam

|
By all indications, 2010 should have been a banner year for street safety in New York. As the city continued to roll out physical improvements to reduce risks to pedestrians and cyclists and announced unprecedented further measures to come, state legislators stepped up with new laws intended to hold accountable, however incrementally, motorists whose negligence […]

Is Manhattan DA Cy Vance Delivering on Traffic Justice?

|
The 2009 race for Manhattan district attorney presented a rare opportunity for proponents of safer streets. After decades of indifference toward victims of vehicular violence from Robert Morgenthau, advocates succeeded in making traffic justice a prominent campaign issue for his would-be successors. Contenders for the office pledged to take definitive action to reduce the carnage […]

MTA Report on Fatal Bus Crash Doesn’t Say What the Post Says It Does

|
The Post ran a story today blaming the death of 64-year-old John Lavery in the Bronx last October on a broken street light, not the bus driver who struck him. But the very report cited by the Post, obtained by Streetsblog [PDF], reveals that the MTA’s internal investigation ruled the collision was preventable, and that driver Theresa Gallagher failed […]

NJ Editor Blames Anyone But Drivers for Ped Deaths

|
Today on the Streetsblog Network, more windshield perspective from journalists, via WalkBike Jersey. Andy B, the blog’s author (and a frequent commenter on this site), writes about an Atlantic City newspaper editor who has come up with a bizarre theory about who is responsible for the rising tide of pedestrian deaths in the Garden State. […]