According to the NY Times
, former police commissioner commissioner Howard Safir, who served under Rudy Giuliani between 1996 and 2000, "backed his sport utility vehicle into a pregnant woman on the Upper East Side on Friday afternoon and then drove away." Fortunately, the woman, who is seven months pregnant, "was not knocked down and was not seriously injured in the accident." And police, who were able to track Safir down because the woman took down his Escalade's license plate, "determined there is no criminality."
The woman, Joanne M. Valarezo, had a bruised shoulder and told the Times that her unborn child did not seem harmed. While cops claim that Safir—who was apparently double-parked on Third Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets—did not realize he backed into Valarezo, the 30-year-old Bronx resident gave a somewhat different account:
“I was crossing the street in between cars and he hit reverse, and his female passenger screamed, ‘Are you not looking, there’s someone there,’ and as he was reversing, he hit me on my shoulder and my knee and the side of my stomach,” she said.
Then he started to drive away, she said.
“I confronted him and I said, ‘I’m pregnant. Did you not see?’ And he just disregarded that and kept going,” she said. She said if the passenger had not screamed, causing her to turn, she would been hurt more seriously.
The female passenger in the vehicle was Safir's wife. When the TImes told Valarezo who the driver was, she said, "Are you serious? Oh, my God, I did not know that. Wow. O.K., that would explain why all these detectives came to see me. I had detectives come see me in the hospital, and nobody told me who he was."
Safir is currently chairman and CEO of SafirRosetti, "a premier company serving the security and investigation." The Times refers to his history as the commissioner during the Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo incidents and how he "bristled at critics who contended that he was simply coasting on the innovations of his predecessor, William J. Bratton."