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Back to work: Video evidence leads cops to reopen investigation into Clinton Hill hit-and-run

Police are reopening an investigation of a driver who hit a cyclist and fled the scene after receving video evidence of the incident.
Brooklyn Paper
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The police are looking back into an investigation of a driver who hit a cyclist on Vanderbilt Avenue and fled the scene, after this paper reported the incident on May 16.

Cops with the 88th Precinct initially closed the case of a the motorist who sideswiped Queens resident Jason Gan near Willoughby Avenue on May 6 without making arrests, because they didn’t have the car’s license plates, according to a spokeswoman for the department – but decided to give it another look after this reporter sent the department a first-person video of the incident that Gan posted online on the day of the collision.

“I spoke to the commanding officer and was informed the report was closed because the cyclist was hit by an unknown vehicle,” Det. Denise Moroney said in an emailed statement. “I shared the plate information and the complaint has since been opened and the squad is looking into the matter.”

Gan sustained injuries to his arm and leg after the gold-colored Nissan Altima with out-of-state plates knocked him off his bike and sped off.

The 22-year-old told this paper he was on his way back from running errands in Gowanus and the driver honked at him when he swerved to avoid a double-parked car, just before 5:30 p.m.

“After that I moved all the way over to the right as close as I could to the parked cars,” Gan said.

But the driver apparently grew impatient and sped up, hitting Gan’s handlebar with his side mirror, knocking him into the car’s back panel before he hit the asphalt, according to cyclist.

“All of a sudden I can hear him accelerating towards me and the minute I see his front panel, I can tell that he is way closer. Then his mirror got my handlebar and back panel hit my body,” he said.

The cyclist believes that the driver intentionally hit him because the car was able to pass another biker right behind him without a problem.

He also said that the driver sped off because there was a police car about a block ahead of them.

“There’s a cop car like 50 feet in front of me — I think that’s why the guy sped off so fast, because he saw that and reacted to that,” he said. “It just sucks a lot.”

This is his third time a motorist has struck Gan and made a run for it, the cyclist said. The first time, a driver hit him in East Williamsburg, leaving him with a concussion last October and he said he was struck again in Greenpoint in February.

Brooklyn’s streets are proving to be treacherous for cyclists.

Since the beginning of this 2019, 10 cyclists died at the hand of drivers, with eight of the fatal collisions in Brooklyn and three of those in just the last four days.

Gan was happy to come out of the incident with just minor injuries and was thankful for the other cyclists and pedestrians who stayed on the scene with him until police arrived.

He was also glad to hear that the department is reopening his case, but said he has learned from his previous interactions with the Boys in Blue that they don’t take cases seriously where the victims aren’t severely hurt.

“Unless there’s a serious injury — broken bones or something like that — the police treat it as a motor vehicle accident, not a felony,” he said.

But the department spokeswoman said that police takes every accident seriously.

“The NYPD takes every accident seriously and investigates every case with sensitivity and care,” Moroney said. “We courage all people to share information that could further an investigat­ion.”

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 7:28 pm, May 16, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Tony from Mill Basin says:
This guy is either the unluckiest person in Brooklyn or he rides like an idiot.
May 16, 6:52 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Tony from Mill Basin is a twerp and shouldn't run his mouth so much.
May 16, 8:05 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Life in prison for this dirtball motorist.
May 16, 8:11 pm
Tony from Mill Basin says:
You wearing your spandex too tight, “Henry Ford”? They let nazis in Transportation Alternatives these days?
May 16, 8:23 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Go back to Ohio, toenail.
May 16, 8:39 pm
Dmitri from Coney Island says:
The driver should get at least 5 years in jail, and lose his license forever.
May 16, 8:50 pm
Ajax from red hook says:
my brother, a former bicycle riding daily commuter, has had over 20 accidents involving his bicycle. i agree with Tony from Mill Basin; even if you're right, you better change your riding behaviour under these circumstances, or die. or never complain.
May 17, 5:28 am
Jeff from Brooklyn says:
The driver should receive jail time. This was uncalled for. Drivers must respect bike riders. And Tony from Mill Basin - you are an idiot!!!!!
May 17, 1:38 pm
Peter from Dikers says:
Ajax, there is absolutely nothing you can do if you are a cyclist, or a pedestrian, and a driver decides to assault you with his car. It has nothing to do with cycling or walking pattern, and a lot to do with some drivers being antisocial and disregarding life of their fellow citizens as soon as they sit behind the steering wheel. Part of the problem is that "the Boys in Blue that they don’t take cases seriously where the victims aren’t severely hurt." Not only there were caught red handed falsifying records, feeding false material to the press, but they diligently investigate only a small fraction of crashes, even if the victim has died. So far the only cases they paid attention to are either viral online videos, like this one, or when someone in close proximity to ruling electeds is a victim (Prospect Park vehicular manslaughter on the 9th Str).
May 18, 1:59 pm
Gordo from Dumbo says:
Let's give it up for the crack police work here that involved giving it "another look after [the] reporter sent the department a first-person video of the incident that Gan posted online on the day of the collision." It must take so much detective work to get a reporter to point you to a publicly available online video of the accident involving one of the participants in an accident posted on the SAME day of the incident. Truly impressive police work and golf clap, Vision Zero enforcers.
May 20, 2:48 pm
Steve from Brooklyn says:
What's the best way to advocate for a bike lane on that side of the road? There's one on the other side... Petition? local meeting?
May 22, 1:38 pm

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