Tuesday’s Headlines: Execution in Bushwick Edition

Red like the devil: A motorist used a Jeep Grand Cherokee (like the one above) to run down a cyclist he suspected of breaking into the car.
Red like the devil: A motorist used a Jeep Grand Cherokee (like the one above) to run down a cyclist he suspected of breaking into the car.

The big news yesterday was out of Bushwick: A 41-year-old motorist, Korey Johnson, used his Jeep Grand Cherokee to act as judge, jury, and executioner of a guy on a bike who allegedly had broken into the vehicle.

Johnson took off after the fleeing cyclist, driving the wrong way down Marcus Garvey Boulevard, ramming three parked cars and flipping the Jeep in the course of killing the biker, Donald Robert. On Monday night, Johnson was facing as-yet-unnamed charges for the fatal rampage. (NYDN, Gothamist, NYP, AMNY, and Streetsblog were among the many outlets that covered the killing.)

Which got us thinking: What is it about SUVs and other high-powered rides that makes their (mostly male) drivers think they’re god, as in, “OMG, touch my car, and I’ll kill you!”?

The size? The horse power? The testosterone jolt of pumping the pedal of a 3,000-pound killing machine?

Overlarge or overpowered vehicles also featured in two other recent road-rage incidents: the SUV drivers who were caught on video menacing a female cyclist in July, and the muscle-car driving maniac who tried to mow down a cyclist on the West Side Highway in June.

Car culture is bro culture, but SUV culture is bro culture on steroids.

In other news:

  • A bombshell DOT report explodes the “distracted pedestrian” myth, finding that just two pedestrian deaths out of hundreds in the last two years were related to mobile phones. Take that, John Liu! (Streetsblog, NYP)
  • A three-year-old boy was fatally struck by a car in Queens. (NYDN)
  • In another case of “How can we get that great thing?,” Paris is testing a gadget that automatically tickets noisy cars.
  • In more bad things that are happening in cars, thieves are preying on Lyft drivers, robbing them by commandeering their mobile phones. (NY1)
  • A cyclist is in serious condition after being struck by a taxi in Clinton Hill. (News12Brooklyn)
  • ICYMI: The city vows to fix the as-yet unfinished bike lanes on the Kosciuszko Bridge. (Curbed)

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The Weekly Carnage is a Friday round-up of motor vehicle violence across the five boroughs. For more on the origins and purpose of this column, please read About the Weekly Carnage. Fatal Crashes (5 Killed This Week; 82 This Year; 4 Drivers Charged*) Red Hook: Nicholas Soto, 14, Struck Crossing Street to Catch School Bus; No […]