A lawsuit filed on Friday accused former New York City Mayor David Dinkins of hitting a bicyclist with his car and breaking his ankle before immediately fleeing the scene. Although Dinkins told police officers that the bicycle had struck his car, the former mayor claims that neither he nor his wife felt the collision responsible for breaking the bicyclist’s ankle.
Around noon on June 30, Rodrigo Garcia had finished making a delivery and was returning to the restaurant where he worked when he stopped at an intersection to make a left turn. With his right foot on the pavement to balance himself, Garcia waited at the intersection when a 2013 Cadillac in the oncoming lane clipped Garcia’s bike, whipping it around 180 degrees.
Because his foot was planted on the ground, Garcia reportedly snapped his right ankle, breaking two bones. Instead of stopping to check on the injured deliveryman, the driver of the Cadillac appeared to flee the scene of the accident.
After witnessing the crash, a bystander recorded the Cadillac’s license plate and gave it to the NYPD. Discovering that the Cadillac belonged to the 89-year-old former mayor David Dinkins, the police subsequently questioned him and determined that he was driving the Cadillac, which had sustained damage to the front quarter panel.
“‘Driver of vehicle one states he was traveling southbound on York Ave when the bike hit the side of his vehicle,’” Garcia’s attorney, Joel Turney, read from the police report to the NY Daily News.
In a recent statement, Dinkins claimed that he had no knowledge of the collision occurring because he was driving his wife to the hospital. Dinkins stated, “As a result of her examination, her physician directed her to go to the New York Presbyterian Emergency Room on East 68th Street for immediate treatment. I, of course, said I would drive Joyce to the hospital right away.
“As we neared the hospital on York Avenue, a man came up to my car window and told me my car had been hit by a bicycle about a half a block away. It was the first time I was aware of any such incident. I told the man that my wife was in medical distress and that we were on the way to the emergency room a short distance away, but that I would return to the area he described once I got her into the ER.
“After I made sure that Joyce was admitted and being cared for I not only returned right away to the alleged scene in my vehicle (no one was present at that time) but also fully cooperated with officers from the NYPD who interviewed me at the hospital. The officers also inspected my car.
“So it’s clear: I was not aware of any contact between the bicycle and my car at the time it may have occurred,” Dinkins claimed.
Regardless of whether Dinkins knowingly fled the scene of an accident or was completely unaware of crashing into Garcia’s bicycle, questions have arisen as to whether or not the 89-year-old former mayor is a hazard to others on the road.