NYPD Still Has Not Arrested Four Recent Hit-and-Run Drivers

Cops arrested the hit-and-run driver who killed Chaim Joseph last month.
Cops arrested the hit-and-run driver who killed Chaim Joseph last month.

The NYPD has made no arrests in the cases of four hit-and-runs since December — despite claiming to know the identities of two of the drivers.

The driver of a Department of Sanitation sand spreader struck a pedestrian in the Bronx on Jan. 8 while making a turn onto Willis Avenue, then fled. The driver was suspended by the DSNY and was questioned by the NYPD, but has not been arrested, according to a police spokesman.

Joseph Chiam, a 72 year old Cyclist from the East Village, was struck by a hit-and-run oil truck making a left turn on Feb. 4 while riding on Eighth Avenue near 45th Street. The driver fled. Police say they have identified the driver but have made no arrests.

“We’re working with District Attorneys in both boroughs,” a police spokesman told Streetsblog.

Other hit-and-run cases from the past two months remain unsolved. The driver of the white truck that killed cyclist MD Rajon in East New York on Dec. 14 remains at large, as does the driver who killed 27-year-old pedestrian Fernando Trejo on Brooklyn’s deadly Third Avenue on Jan. 14.

Streetsblog has long covered the failure of the NYPD to arrest hit-and-run drivers, who are often the only witnesses to their crimes. When victims do survive being struck, they often face a second ordeal of having to find their own evidence or file Freedom of Information Law requests to get their own police reports.

“The perpetrator can simply say, ‘Iit wasn’t me,’ and police will not file charges, even if they identify the vehicle,” reporter Ben Fried wrote last year. “This high threshold of proof helps explain why police investigators put so little effort into apprehending hit-and-run drivers.”

The New York Times has also examined the NYPD’s failure to arrest killer drivers, even when their identities are known.

Pedestrian advocates say they are angered but unsurprised by the latest lack of arrests.

“It’s outrageous,” said Marco Conner, interim co-director at Transportation Alternatives. “The NYPD sees traffic violence as a lesser form of violence.”

But it’s nothing new. Conner said the NYPD Crash Investigations Squad has the ability to thoroughly investigate these hit-and-run cases, but that they only thoroughly investigate a fraction of them and will only give a case extra attention when it generates public outrage.

Anyone with information regarding these crashes is encouraged to call 800-577-7177 (TIPS).

  • William Lawson

    ““We’re working with District Attorneys in both boroughs,” a police spokesman told Streetsblog.” — translation: we’re working with the DA’s to build a preemptive defense for these drivers before we arrest them. If they’re actually working with Cy Vance’s office, then the driver who murdered Joseph Chiam will get off scot free. Vance is a pointless and incompetent man who doesn’t have the slightest idea what his job is supposed to be and is fully invested in the cause of allowing killer drivers to remain on our roads.

  • Geck

    His name is actually Chiam Joseph. Initial reports reversed his name.

  • KeNYC2030

    The NYPD will be able to arrest the drivers just as soon as they can free up some officers from bike-ticketing duty.

  • Warren Meech Wells

    I think you mean bike-tackling duty.

  • walks bikes drives

    I’m not surprised NYPD didnt do anything. I called them today because some guy from NJ tried to hit me TWICE with his car because I wasnt in a bike lane (on a street without a bike lane) and then got out of the car and threatened to hit me. They told me they could take a report, but it wouldn’t go anywhere.

  • Unlimited Towing

    Agree wirh you. Unlimited Towinghttps://www.unlimitedtowingctx.com/

  • nyc-cynic

    let’s add in no arrest in the hit and run murder of Kevin Laing, 27, riding a motorcycle on the Kosciusko Bridge back in October, 2017. To be fair it’s one of those cases that requires lots of gumshoe work and plenty of luck, but still…..

    Oh, and there’s also the related story of an off duty cop who smashed up his car in what certainly looks to be a DUI. He then ran off before anyone saw him.
    Arrested… _fifteen months later_ after making another $110k in pensionable salary
    https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-metro-hells-kitchen-cop-busted-drunken-driving-20190212-story.html

  • Ishamgirl

    Here we go with the cop bashing.

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