Former New York mayor David Dinkins sued for alleged hit-and-run
(Reuters) – Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins denied on Saturday an accusation in a lawsuit that he plowed into a bicycle deliveryman while driving on a Manhattan street and then fled.
Deliveryman Rodrigo Garcia alleged that a car driven by the 89-year-old former politician struck him on June 30 as Garcia was stopped to make a turn on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Police did not file any charges, Garcia’s attorney said.
Dinkins, who was mayor from 1990 to 1993, drove off and did not return to the accident site, according to the lawsuit filed on Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The suit said Garcia was seriously injured but did not give details. The New York Post newspaper said his ankle was broken.
In a statement on Saturday, Dinkins said the incident took place as he was driving his wife to a hospital emergency room. He was unaware of it until a bystander later told him a bicycle had struck his car, Dinkins said.
Dinkins said he then returned to the accident scene but no one was there. Dinkins said he cooperated with police officers who interviewed him and inspected his car.
“I take my responsibilities as a driver in New York City very seriously and would never do anything to violate the law,” said Dinkins, a Democrat who was New York’s first and so far only black mayor.
The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages.
A lawyer for Garcia said that the former mayor’s assertions that he had no knowledge of the incident at the time should have been in his statement to police officials.
“In the police report he alleges that the bicycle hit his vehicle. Yet when brought to account for leaving the scene he says he had no knowledge of the accident of itself,” Joel Turney said by telephone.
When asked about Turney’s comments, Dinkins’ spokesman, Stuart Marques, reiterated that Dinkins had no knowledge of the accident at the time.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Additional reporting by Chris Prentice; Editing by James Dalgleish and Sandra Maler)