Anatomy Of A Greenpoint Bike Accident

If a car slams you off your bike, the cops won't do anything

Jaime Conty Jr. was the name attached to the car. Neither of his first or last names are listed on any of the building's buzzers. A landline phone number associated with that full name just rings. A nearby business owner who spoke on the condition of anonymity described the groups of young men who loiter out front of this apartment cluster as "entry-level gangbangers"; on Tuesday, August 9, 2011, at approximately 11:25 p.m., there were angry-sounding voices audibly yelling from an upstairs window.

The NYPD officer assigned to the two-victim case was a Detective Almonte, who could not be reached for this article. (We were told he was on vacation.)

Michelle and James sat down at their Bushwick apartment to talk about the case with the Voice. A representative from Leav & Steinberg, the law firm handling their no-fault insurance suit, eavesdropped on speakerphone and hung up after an hour. (It was a summer Friday and you could tell the man was restless.)

"The police changed their story a few times," James said. "The first time they told us that night, the [car owner] left [a bar] with his friends, lost his keys, and went home. Later, when we called [Detective Almonte] back, maybe a week or so later and asked if he questioned [the car owner's] friends, he said, 'Oh, those weren't really his friends. He just walked home alone.' [The police] wouldn't tell us what bar or where or anything."

"Anytime we would press [Detective Almonte] for details, it was almost like he was annoyed with us," Michelle added.

"He would say stuff like, 'You trying to tell me how to do my job? You say I'm not doing my job?' " James said, Michelle nodding. "Then he would also say stuff like, 'You know, we got a lot of other cases, we're really busy,' kind of undermining our case. I'm sure they are busy, but still."

"After I got out of the hospital, I was calling [the 94th Precinct Detective Squad] all the time," Michelle remembered. "I was so upset and annoyed that obviously, all the evidence they could have gotten, they can't get now. I wanted answers: What did they try to do? What didn't they do? I'm laying here, I can't walk, I can't move without help, all I can do is think and think and think, over and over, like, 'Fuck this guy.' And I was asking [Detective Almonte], 'Did you check the video footage from the bar or along Franklin?' There're so many bars, so many cameras. Wherever the car was parked, from that point, to hitting us, to being abandoned—it must've been on tape somewhere?"

"Unless someone came through with that information completely, or [the driver] admitted to it, it didn't seem like they were willing to do any sort of investigation," James reiterated.

"Everyone who's a victim of an accident is entitled to have the police fairly and thoroughly investigate," interjected the Leav & Steinberg representative over the phone. "Sometimes they're looking for things and they don't have any help. Here, the witnesses are there, they found the car the same day, the bike was there, there were things to work with."

Michelle remembered why she stopped calling. "[Detective Almonte] was like, 'Listen, you should be lucky you're alive.' " This was the last time she spoke with anyone from the department. "It's like you can play Grand Theft Auto in the streets and hit real people and ditch your car and that's allowed," she said. "Honestly, I feel like the only way that this case would have gotten more attention is if I'd been brain dead or physically dead."

Reading stories of other bike accidents makes Michelle want to throw up. And there are many. Early this month, a 70-year-old cyclist got hit near Rockaway Beach by an unlicensed motorist; the 21-year-old operator was only charged for driving with a suspended license. The next day, a 29-year-old cyclist was run over in East Williamsburg by a truck driver, his helmet crushed; a police source told the Daily News that the bicyclist was at fault, so there were no charges. In a higher-profile instance, Ray Deter, the owner of a Lower East Side beer bar, died from injuries after being hit on Canal Street. The cops reportedly found marijuana in the Jaguar that hit him, yet as of now, no charges have been filed.

And then there are the hit-and-runs. "I just got slammed from behind by an unidentified driving object riding the right way down Wythe Avenue in the bike lane," recounts Fort Greene cyclist Serena Rio, 21, who got run down this past winter. "It was around 2 in the afternoon on a Friday, February 4. The driver fled the scene, there were no witnesses. I had a myriad of broken bones, knocked-out teeth, punctured lung, and a pelvis split in half. I spent two weeks in the ICU, two months in inpatient rehab, and three months, in total, unable to walk." Now working for the Bicycle Film Festival, she naturally feels pretty strongly about negligent operators. "It's an atrocity what happens not to only the bikers, but the lack of action taken against the villains in question."

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388 comments
Ben F
Ben F

hahaha she even manages to look like a hipster when lying in a hospital bed. hahahaha that look on her face, so vogue....

Tjbikeplay
Tjbikeplay

so you're saying what? She biked into a car just to see if she could still hold up some whatever her image is? Why don't you try looking trendy layed with broken bones, shitting in a pan and never being able to sleep in a hospital! You're hilarious!

Real Creature
Real Creature

I ran a yellow (just beat the red) - cop followed me for four blocks, pulled me over and then told ME to be more careful - cars can (are allowed to) kill bicyclists.

tjbikeplay
tjbikeplay

So do you aim for cyclists when you're driving? Maybe when you cross the street on a "Don't walk" someone should aim for you. Is that allowed? I'm not wishing harm on anyone but really? So, cyclists are targets for you when you drive?

Thetruth
Thetruth

you sound like a real asshole.... whiny bitch

3rd_Man
3rd_Man

Probably some Polish guy; pissed about his rent going through the roof.

Long live diehipster.com

Moderator
Moderator

Actually it would have been nice if the same driver took out another 30-40 other assholes who were running reds and riding late at night with no lights on the bike. We could nominate the driver to get the Key for the City of New York. The assholes on bike are a menace. Hit them THEN drag the 10 blocks then back over them to loosen them off your bumper!

Moderator
Moderator

How do we not know these two were not drunk and they simply did not look when the swerved right into an oncoming car's path? I see bike riders all over NYC cut right into a cars path without looking. They look like like hipsters I see all the time on bike riding like they are the only one on the road, cutting off cars, turning without hand signals.

And what kind of lack of self respect would they have to actually sit down and do press? You take to the road on a bike at midnight on a bike without helmets with that "nothing bad will happen to me" disregard and all something like this story amounts to is THINNING OUT THE HERD"

KillerApp
KillerApp

Fast Eddie is back with his finger deeply embedded in his A$$. You fucking loser!

Guest4
Guest4

Honestly, who cares? The person who hit her drove away and hid, and that's the real crime. He/she left her in the street to die, and lost the opportunity to make any claims that she swerved in front of him or did anything like that. Use your brain and have some fucking empathy, asshole.

heyhohey
heyhohey

Moderator is thespinguru is edesposito is lee franklin.......the list of fake accounts this guy has is practically endless. He spews the same hateful, miserable bullshit using the same exact language/rhetoric and then pretends it's not all his accounts and calls anyone who points this out fucktards and then pretends to be all different people who just work in the same office.

KillerApp
KillerApp

Suck my dick Ed Esposito...you are a toxic loser!

heyhohey
heyhohey

No dumb ass, that was another person talking about getting your IP address when you posted under another one of your user names. Not me. And yet again, you, Ed Esposito, accuse someone of using their parents' computer. I mean really, how much more obvious do you get? The only one trolling here is you.

Moderator
Moderator

Sorry, but don't know who these people are, but looking at your history of comments, you seem to revel in troll-like behavior. Now go away llttle boy and stop playing with your parents' computer.

Weren't you bragging about getting somebody's IP address banned in one of your babblng posts?

morris_goodman
morris_goodman

Honestly, who cares that she died? People like that deserve no fucking empathy.

morris_goodman
morris_goodman

I neither want nor need empathy. Kindly go fuck yourself, asshole.

KillerApp
KillerApp

But you probably think you do..huh? Climb back under your rock maggot!

morris_goodman
morris_goodman

I'll find you, you spic cocksucker. You'll end up a wet spic stain on the pavement. And nobody will give a flying fuck.

morris_goodman
morris_goodman

What you're trying to say, Pendejo, is that you don't have the cojones.

Bendejo
Bendejo

I'd cut your dick off, but I do not have a knife that is small enough.

Bendejo
Bendejo

I am in Prospect Park every morning, come get me, you fucking coward. Think you can get to Prospect Park without hitting 6-10 cars. You know the saying, a man drives like he fucks. Then again is there a single Hasidic women that experienced a single orgasm? Find her for us, we will put the first one on the cover of the N.Y. Post.

morris_goodman
morris_goodman

Hey spic,Let me know where you'll be biking and I'll come and run you down with my Buick, cocksucker. One spic less - who's going to give a shit?

Bendejo
Bendejo

Actually not you racist mysoginyst. I have a lot of Jewish friends, who also hate the backward Hasidic community. That's right, most of the Jewish community that has past the 17th century hates you asshole Hassidic pieces of shit...Let me know where you will be walking in the bike lane again, so I can bike by and club you in the meaty part of your neck, asshole!

You will be the "chosen one" for a fat lump behind your skull when I catch the next one of you ugly motherfuckers walking in the bike lane!

morris_goodman
morris_goodman

Hey Pendejo, I know what you are. You're a jew-hating cocksucking spic.

Bendejo
Bendejo

Hey, stupid ass.....

I'm Hispanic, ducking retard!

Sorry, if it was not for arranged marriages, you ugly ducks would never get married.

Who the Fuck you kidding? You Hasids all visit black prostitutes

morris_goodman
morris_goodman

Hey Pendejo,Your white women are only good for working as prostitutes.

Bendejo
Bendejo

Hey Heebie,

Shut the Fuck up!

You cocksuckers filed suits because of "scantally dressed women cyclists" but everyone of you visit prostitutes... Ducking hypocrites.

Moderator
Moderator

Why should the taxpayers have to pick up the tab for two dumb assholes?

Moderator
Moderator

Fuck them. Too many stupid people on the earth taking up valuable oxygen. No lights, and they are the reason they both got splattered all over the pavement. Two less assholes biking around the city like they own the road

Bendejo
Bendejo

Everybody is a cyclist here. Get off the road assholes law breaking bike riders

Moderator
Moderator

Suck a cock... Fuck assholes who do stupid shit on bike. No helmets, no lights and drunk on bike. Now the tax payers have to pick up the tab for this cunt?

Phoenix
Phoenix

Hold still while I take a screen shot of you. I want to show all the world what kind, empathetic, and deeply moral people conservative bike-haters all are.

You too, Stevart.

Moderator
Moderator

Jiminnycrow,

And you think you opionion matters because....................?

STFU you feces nugget.

Go get a job scumbag!

jiminycrow
jiminycrow

Thanks for the reality check, Guest4.

Moderator, it is you and your kind, that make comment forums the pieces of trash they have come to be. Congratulations on being just another scrap of human litter.

terafied
terafied

If you're the moderator, I'd hate to read more commenters.

Stevart
Stevart

"If a car slams you off your bike, the cops won't do anything" Jeez, I wonder why? Like maybe because bike riders have gotten so obnoxious that they give you the finger for suggesting that they slow down a bit as the zip past you. Even the uber liberals of Park Slope have turned on those spoiled SOBs and want the bike lanes OUT...as they don't want any more pedestrian fatalities.

Phoenix
Phoenix

Yet another macho man who's glad that Village Voice doesn't reveal IP addresses.

Moderator
Moderator

And what would u do if you had someone's UP address? Probably go to their house and hit them with your purse, you semen swallower!

Moderator
Moderator

Commonplace in NYC is cyclists running red and not hand signaling when they make a turn. GOSPEL.

Moderator
Moderator

Is that not the truth. Sit on any Avenue in NYC. Count how many out of 100 stop at a red light. Free dinner if you can find 10!

terafied
terafied

They are not culpable, but they also need to realize that bringing charges that will not stick is not something law enforcement should do.

Moderator
Moderator

This is far from the truth because the NYPD does it all the time.

terafied
terafied

Of course, some do. It should not be the standard, and luckily it is not. Wasting prosecutorial dollars on a useless case is no better than sabotaging a good one.

terafied
terafied

Maybe you haven't read the story you're replying to, but in this case no one was either arrested or locked up, and that ostensibly is the problem.

Moderator
Moderator

But it does not change the fact police have falsely arrested and locked somebody up.

terafied
terafied

Oh, I'm not ignoring reality. I'm only saying that just because they make some poor choices, doesn't mean all prosecutors are going to file charges in every case.

Moderator
Moderator

Ignoring reality does not make it disappear.

terafied
terafied

Your anecdote does not a pattern make.

Moderator
Moderator

Oh please! I have a friend who was put through the system after being pulled ice by an out of uni cop who refused to show a badge. When he went to pull away the cop punched the back of his car and yelled "my foot, my foot!" faking that his foot was run over.

End result: the City paid him $38k. Now you know why the City is broke. This is probably one example of maybe 100,000 cases just like it. You think the NYPD gives a rat's ass about the amount of cases the DAs office has?

 
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