Monday’s Headlines: Another Weaponized Car Edition
The big story of the weekend was the first story of the weekend: On Friday afternoon, a Queens woman drove into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in Midtown, injuring six people (NY Post, NY Times, WSJ, Gothamist).
The driver, Kathleen Casillo, 52, was charged with reckless endangerment, but received only a desk appearance ticket — meaning that in this city, you can try to kill a dozen people yet still be released on your own recognizance … if you do it with a car (NY Post). Casillo claimed she “panicked” when protesters slapped her car windows — a pretty common occurrence when drivers of 3,000-pound vehicles intimidate unprotected pedestrians (NYDN).
The video of the incident is horrifying:
Just in: surveillance video shows a vehicle speeding through a group of protestors in Murray Hill, leaving 7 of them injured. Driver and passenger being questioned, although sources say this incident does not appear to be intentional. @ABC7NY @jimdolan7 @AaronKatersky pic.twitter.com/ulRlef1lPr
— Morena Basteiro (@morenabasteiro) December 11, 2020
Meanwhile, Friend of Streetsblog Rob Foran wondered why cops can’t keep drivers away from peaceful protesters:
Our @NYCCouncil and @NYCMayorsOffice Need To Set A Policy 4 @NYPDNews To Keep Vehicle Traffic Away From Protests & Rallies. https://t.co/Yh94xlXRmy
— Rob Foran? (@Aunt_Bike) December 13, 2020
But two Republicans in Missouri want to make it legal to do exactly what Casillo allegedly did, Newsweek reported.
And in other news from the weekend:
- It’s two much to believe: Both former Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Interim NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg are in the running to be Transportation Secretary in the Biden Administration. (NYDN)
- Guse of the Newsuh took a bus ride with Sen. Charles Schumer on the Upper East Side — and learned that the senior senator believes he can get $4 billion for the MTA.
- The dredging of the toxic Gowanus Canal has gotten interesting — now they’re pulling out abandoned cars (check the trunks!). (Pardon Me for Asking)
- A hit-and-run driver killed Ecuadoran immigrant Manuel Jose Enealada-Villa in Manhattan on Saturday (NYDN). Meanwhile, another hit-and-run driver killed two women who worked with developmentally disabled children as they carpooled to a group home (NYDN). Oddly, the Post called the crash — which featured a driver speeding through a red light — an “accident.”
- More than 30 members of the House of Representatives have introduced a bill to fund highways and transit equally, rather than the current 80/20 split. (Data for Progress)
- Paging the chutzpah department: Uber and Lyft may not consider drivers employees, but they want drivers at the front of the line for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Tech Crunch)
- One ride-hailing driver says that, after taxes and expenses, he actually lost $250 last year. (Jalopnik)