Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In

Citing No Evidence, NYPD Blames Manhattan Cyclist Josef Mittlemann, 67, for His Own Death

2:37 PM EST on December 6, 2017

11th Avenue and W. 30th Street, where a motorist killed Josef Mittlemann. Image: Google Maps

NYPD has again publicly blamed a cyclist for his own death while citing no evidence to corroborate the claim.

The driver of a Toyota Prius hit 67-year-old Josef Mittlemann at 11th Avenue and W. 30th Street in Chelsea at approximately 1:49 p.m. on November 28. Mittlemann sustained severe head injuries and died the next day.

NYPD told reporters Mittlemann was biking south on 11th and the driver was eastbound on 30th, so both were traveling with traffic on one-way streets.

The News reported that, according to police, Mittlemann “blew a red light” and “struck the passing Toyota Prius.” The Post said the driver “smacked into” Mittlemann after the victim “blew a red light.”

No reports that we've seen indicate how police concluded Mittlemann ran a red light. DCPI, NYPD's public information office, told Streetsblog that detail came from the Collision Investigation Squad, but DCPI could not say if CIS had video or witness statements indicating that Mittlemann caused the crash.

In cases where the victim is no longer alive to give his or her account, CIS is known to base crash investigation reports on the driver's version of events. NYPD initially claimed cyclists Dan HanegbyKelly Hurley, and Lauren Davis -- to cite a few recent cases -- were at fault for the crashes that killed them before video evidence or witness testimony disproved those accounts and indicated driver recklessness instead. NYPD has publicly blamed deceased cyclists for running red lights at least six times in 2017.

As is customary when a motorist kills someone and police file no charges, NYPD shielded the name of the driver who struck Mittlemann, identifying him or her only as 39 years old.

According to his obituary, Mittlemann was a triathlete and an experienced cyclist who rode his bike “atop the many peaks and mountains scattered across the world.”

Josef Mittlemann was killed in the 10th Precinct, where motorists killed cyclists Dan Hanegby and Michael Mamoukakis within five days of one another last spring, and in the City Council district represented by Corey Johnson.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Popular Fort Greene Open Street Fizzles After City Pulls Support

DOT reassigned its contractor, and this open street — which once hosted rollicking dance parties — is history.

October 2, 2023

Monday’s Headlines: Thin-Skinned, Anti-Restler Mayor Edition

Under fire for how he handled the storm, the mayor found a familiar target: Brooklyn Council Member Lincoln Restler. Plus other news.

October 2, 2023

Two Paths Forward: Broadway Shows What Could Be on Fifth Avenue

It's time to widen Fifth Avenue's sidewalks and add a protected bike lane. Delays hurt everyone.

CYCLE OF RAGE: Even Cheap Souvenir Plates Fool NYC Speed Cameras — And Piss Off an Out-of-Town Man

You don't have to be SEXY to fool New York City speed cameras. You just have to pretend to be.

October 2, 2023

We Have the ‘End of Days’ Flooding Pics You Need Right Now

It's bad out there. How bad? Here is a citywide roundup from our staff ... and our friends on social media.

September 29, 2023
See all posts