NYPD Accused of ‘Hit and Lie’ on Cyclist

Earlier this month, an unmarked New York Police Department car collided with a bicyclist. The official police report said that the cyclist struck the side police officers’ car while the car was legally turning right and that the cyclist was uninjured in the accident.

But newly released video of the accident, tracked down by the cyclist himself, shows that the cops weren’t telling the truth about the bike crash, and were probably at fault.

A Case of He Said, Cop Said

Cyclist Ross Cunningham told Gothamist he was traveling in a marked bike lane when a black sedan made a right turn in front of him without signaling. Cunningham was knocked to the ground, his bike damaged beyond repair, and phone cracked. And although he denied assistance from an ambulance, Cunningham says he did suffer minor injuries.

The police report, written by Sgt. Peter Villahoz who was riding shotgun in the car Officer Kenneth Maslowski was driving, tried to paint a very different story. The report, also obtained by Gothamist, says the NYPD vehicle “was making a legal right turn with emergency lights when cyclist struck right side of vehicle,” and that Cunningham stated he suffered “no injuries.” And they would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for that meddling cyclist:

Every Surveillance Video Tells a Story, Don’t It?

As you can see from the video above, Cunningham looks to be clearly within the bike lane while Maslowski doesn’t put a turn signal or emergency lights on before turning and hitting Cunningham. And according to Cunningham’s attorney, the police report contains other inaccuracies:

The number “4” in Box 2 beside Cunningham’s name indicates that he had been “crossing, no signal or crosswalk” prior to the crash. Cunningham and his attorney, Steve Vaccaro, allege that the box should be marked “5” to indicate “riding along the highway with traffic.” Another box is marked to indicate that Cunningham was “not ejected” when, as the video shows, he was thrown from his bicycle.

Bicycle crashes can be much more serious that Cunningham’s, and though he doesn’t see a lawsuit against the city as his meal ticket, he does want the NYPD to come clean about the accident and he wants to see a doctor to find out if he’s OK. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you should contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.

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