The taxi driver who jumped a curb in Midtown this week—leading to a 23-year-old tourist losing her left leg—held a press conference outside his victim's hospital yesterday, telling reporters he wasn't at fault for Tuesday's accident. He continued to blame the incident on the bike messenger who reportedly banged on his car just before he lost control.
Mohammed Fasyal Himon, 24, said he was "very sorry" for what happened to tourist Sian Green, a former beauty queen who was eating a hot dog on the sidewalk in Rockefeller Center when Himon hit her on Tuesday, but removed himself from any culpability. "It’s not my fault. It’s just an accident," he said. Himon, a native of Bangladesh, was flanked by former New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers head Fernando Mateo, who echoed Himon in hounding 40-year-old cyclist Kenneth Olivo, 40. "The only crime committed here was by the bicyclist," he said. "Who would you rather believe, a man who immigrated to this country and supports his family back home, or a thug?" Olivo, meanwhile, told the Post this week that Himon had been driving aggressively behind him at the time.
Neither Himon nor Olivo have been charged, but Himon has been issued a summons, and authorities are making moves to temporarily suspend his license. Mateo, who has seemingly taken Himon under his wing since the accident, has been trying to prevent the suspension. “He has seven points,” Mateo said, of Himon's license. “If he pays $1,000 fine he can work until he has 10 points. The federation and its 28,000 workers will not allow his license to be revoked.” Mateo also argued Himon had been mischaracterized by the press, allegedly exacerbating his driving record (Himon has had prior violations); he also noted, "There are two victims here: Miss Green and Mr. Himon."
That assertion didn't sit well with attorney Steve Vaccaro, who represents injured cyclists and pedestrians. "It is outrageous and shocking to have Mr. Himon or his representative claim that Mr. Himon is the victim here," he told the Wall Street Journal yesterday. And Vaccaro also called Himon out on blaming Olivo for causing him to jump the curb. "It’s going to be very difficult for him to demonstrate any reasonable fear on his part that could possibly have justified what he did," he said.
The press conference was held outside Bellevue Hospital, just steps away from where Green is recovering after having her left leg amputated, her parents at her bedside. The family issued a statement on Thursday thanking everyone who worked to save Green's life, including plumber Dave Justino and celebrity personality Dr. Oz, who used makeshift tourniquets to stop Green's bleeding immediately after she was hit. Neither Himon nor Mateo have made contact with the family since the accident; Mateo started a fund for Green yesterday, which has raised $3,000.