NYPD: Sorry, We’re Too Busy Dealing with Bombs to Protect You From Killer Drivers

A police spokesperson said the NYPD is too busy to investigate a crash that almost killed two people.

Video still: Twitter/New York City Alerts
Video still: Twitter/New York City Alerts

A man and his son were run down and seriously injured this morning in Crown Heights, but the NYPD’s official comment was, “Nothing to see here.”

That’s more or less what a department spokesperson told Gothamist after a two-car collision in Crown Heights sent two pedestrians to the hospital on Thursday morning.

“With everything going on with packages and bombs, we’re not going further into this because no one was likely to die or seriously injured,” the spokesperson said, referring to the ongoing national news story about explosives being delivered to liberal icons such as Joe Biden, former President Obama, the Clintons and CNN.

The pedestrians — a father and son — were crossing Brooklyn Avenue at Crown Street when a southbound driver on Brooklyn Avenue went through a red light, striking a second vehicle, which barreled into the walkers as they made their way through the crosswalk, according to NYPD. The “New York City Alerts” Twitter page shared video of the crash (VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED):

No charges were filed against either driver, which the NYPD spokesperson interviewed by Gothamist attributed to the police department’s razor-sharp focus on the ongoing bomb threat — or, conversely, the fact that no one was killed or injured.

Justification aside, the implicit message to New York City pedestrian is frightening: If you are struck but happen to survive, the NYPD will treat the driver as if he has done nothing wrong.

Streetsblog reached out to NYPD for further clarification on its spokesperson’s befuddling statement.

“I wouldn’t know where to even begin,” said Detective Brown of the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information’s Office. “If you’d likely to get more information about the incident, you can email the office.”

Streetsblog emailed but got no response.

Update: After this story was published, the mayor’s office connected Streetsblog with NYPD spokesperson Lt. John Grimpel, who provided the following statement:

The original reporter called, and was told basic information of the collision, time of occurrence, the location, ages of the victim. They were also informed that we would look into the collision, but since it was not a [Collision Investigation Squad] job just to give us a reasonable amount of time since we were dealing with the bomb job in lower Manhattan. He was also informed that it’s not a CIS if there’s not someone seriously injured or dead, so we don’t get notified of the collision unless we looked into it. At no time did we say we were forgoing an investigation because we lacked resources to protect New Yorkers from dangerous driving while also handling a terrorist emergency. That would never be said any time.

  • benbensons

    Did they even issue a ticket??

  • Komanoff

    When Brad Aaron had this beat, he would wrap each post with the name and contact info for the local City Council member. Can S’blog re-institute that practice? Meanwhile, stellar reporting by Dave Meyer. But why so few comments? Are we all too stunned? Or did this just go up?

  • Larry Littlefield

    We’ve got more police officers than intersections, and more retired officers than active officers.

    Why didn’t the officer assigned to this intersection do something? Because he was promoted to a special squad?

  • Luis Calleja

    NYPD not caring about vehicular violence/injury is common knowledge and to some an intrinsic behavioral component of theirs. However, NYPD runs with the length of the leash they are provided: New Yorkers don’t vote for the local candidates that want to institute an NYPD civilian review board. We vote in DeBlasio who has gotten on his knees to beg for the good graces of the NYPD. In Crown Heights specifically, in 2017 a city council candidate ran on this very platform, but central BK went conservative and elected Cumbo.

  • Andrew

    At no time did we say we were forgoing an investigation because we lacked resources to protect New Yorkers from dangerous driving while also handling a terrorist emergency. That would never be said any time.

    It doesn’t need to be said. Actions speak louder than words.

  • Plunkitt_of_Tammany_Hall

    “We’ve got more police officers than intersections” is one of the silliest claims I have ever seen on this site (because how many intersections do you think there are in NYC, and ho many cops?), followed by the idiotic assumption that there was an “officer assigned to this intersection.”. For the record, we have more intersections than police officers, and there is no “officer assigned to this intersection.” Why should there be? Is that really how you think the police should be used — to stand at every intersection all day, and do nothing else? Beyond that, since no one works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, never getting sick and never going on vacation, if you really do want to engage in the idiotic plan of having a cop standing at every intersection 24/7/365, then you will need to hire SIX officers for each intersection. And even if there had been an officer assigned to this intersection, exactly what was he or she supposed to do? Wrestle the car to a stop? Tell you what – why don’t YOU go stand in a random intersection all day and all night, in the case that a car might be in a collision, and YOU “do something.” Then come back and tell us how it went; we’d love to learn from your experience.
    Honestly, the chuckle-headed nonsense that people spew on this site is just astonishing…

  • David Kim

    Surprised that neither driver is concerned with the person rolling on the ground. Are they not aware that a father and his son were “thrown” from the crosswalk to where they are shown in the video?

  • Rex Rocket

    “Why should there be? Is that really how you think the police should be
    used — to stand at every intersection all day, and do nothing else?”

    The NYPD does exactly this to ticket bike riders running lights and stop signs at 6 am.

  • joyauto

    BS- won’t investigate collision because “no one was likely to die” The bombs never reached their intended targets so no one was likely to die or be injured there either. Why bother investigating if that’s the criteria?

  • qrt145

    How many intersections are there? I’m just curious. I couldn’t find a definitive answer, but the DOT says that there are 12,460 intersections with traffic signals citywide (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/infrastructure/signals.shtml ). Of course, there are many intersections with no traffic signals, too.

    Still, it is an interesting bit of trivia that there are about three police officers for every signalized intersection! (I’m not commenting on whether assigning each officer to an intersection makes sense.)

  • Plunkitt_of_Tammany_Hall

    DOT says there are approximately 47,200 intersections in the city of New York, which means that only about one out of every four intersections in the city has a traffic signal.


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