Ballistic Firefighter Who Used His Car to Run Down a Cyclist is Back on Duty
The city firefighter who was arrested last month after he tried to mow down a cyclist with his car on the West Side Highway is now back on the clock — and being paid by taxpayers — following his month-long suspension.
The FDNY had suspended 27-year-old Brauley De La Rosa without pay for 28 days after cops cuffed him on June 10 for assaulting a still-unidentified biker with his Dodge muscle car in Manhattan. The
alleged aggression cost De La Rosa roughly $5,900 on his $71,000 city salary.
“Firefighter De La Rosa has served his suspension, and further disciplinary action may follow based on the outcome of the investigation by the NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney’s Office,” said FDNY spokesman Myles Miller.
De La Rosa, who told Gothamist that he thought the outrage over the incident was “totally blown out of proportion,” could still face additional punishment on the charge of reckless endangerment.
The June 6 incident shocked the entire city — and was fortunately caught on video by Liz Gonzales of Barstool Sports. As Gonzales watched in horror, De La Rosa shoved the cyclist with the grill of his car on the highway near 24th Street. De La Rosa was driving with a suspended license at the time, cops later confirmed.
Gonzales said the firefighter had run a red light and almost hit her and her dog before getting into the aggressive altercation with the cyclist. De La Rosa snatched the cellphone of the cyclist, who refused to back down.
New York’s Finest showed up before De La Rosa and the cyclist had left, but cops let the recidivist reckless motorist drive off without any charges — and did not even run his license plate. If cops had investigated properly, they would have discovered De La Rosa was driving without a valid license — and that his car had been nabbed 11 times for speeding in a school zone (a pending bill by Council Member Brad Lander will eventually allow authorities to impounded such cars).
The driver (an off-duty firefighter) who blew a red light & maniacally kept pushing a cyclist with his car on the West Side Hway last week would have triggered the Reckless Driver Accountability Act to be booted or impounded. We need stronger tools to combat sociopathic driving. https://t.co/StBx0khAzK
— Brad Lander (@bradlander) June 10, 2019
Police launched an investigation a day later only after public outcry by safe-street advocates and local pols, thanks to the viral video that had been aired by multiple media outlets.
Advocacy groups including Transportation Alternative and Families for Safe Streets joined Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Helen Rosenthal on the steps of City Hall on June 10 to demand the driver be held accountable. Cops later made the arrest, charging De La Rosa with reckless endangerment and driving without a valid license.
“Not only did (De La Rosa) attempt to run a cyclist down, but he also drove through a cross walk against a red light,” said Rosenthal. “Pedestrians and cyclists should not be at the mercy of drivers who have the ability to injure or even kill them. It’s time for New Yorkers to regain control of our streets.”
Other bikers fumed that De La Rosa’s behavior is nothing new, and that police routinely let aggressive drivers off the hook with no consequences — though cyclists are often targeted by cops.
De La Rosa’s next court date will be his Aug. 14 arraignment in Manhattan. District Attorney Cy Vance declined to comment.