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Man Kills a Senior in Brighton Beach But is Not Charged (Of Course, Because He Used a Car)

1:00 PM EDT on April 8, 2021

File photo: Dave Colon

A 97-year-old Brighton Beach man was run down and killed by a reckless Cadillac driver as he was trying to park his massive assault car on a busy street on Wednesday, police said.

According to the preliminary report, Russian emigre Volf Ferdman was sitting on his walker in front of a bank building on Brighton Beach Avenue just east of Brighton Fourth Street at around 3:45 p.m. when the 79-year-old driver of the 2008 Escalade, who was attempting to pull out of a parking space, ended up flying over the curb and slamming into the glass windows of the bank, pinning and fatally injuring Ferdman.

The initial police report did not provide details about how a driver who had been pulling out of a spot — presumably at low speed — could have ended up causing so much damage. But a police source later told Streetsblog that the driver may have started the maneuver with the emergency brake still on, prompting him to hit the gas pedal harder. Under this working theory, the engine was still revving at high RPMs when the brake was disengaged, sending the car onto the sidewalk and into the bank.

Ferdman, who lived on Brighton 12th Street, was taken to NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, where he died.

There were no immediate charges, but the NYPD says the case is still under investigation. Charges in such cases are extremely rare, even the base-level charge of failure to exercise due care. ABC7 called it an "accident," but did have a touching picture of the victim, a former hero of what the Soviets called "the Great Patriot War," otherwise known as World War II. In the picture, Ferdman is bedecked with medals featuring the famed hammer-and-sickle, a symbol of the industrial-farmer utopia envisioned by the early Soviets.

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