Last April, the driver of a rare, $800,000 Porsche sped through the streets of Midtown and crashed into five vehicles before he was finally stopped by the NYPD. No injuries were reported, but Benjamin Chen, 33, was charged with reckless driving and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs.

"What the fuck is wrong with this dude?" one bystander exclaims in a video that allegedly shows Chen speeding away from one of cars he slammed into.

Earlier this week, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. dropped the charges against Chen. “The People are moving to dismiss this matter because the case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” court records stated.

Vance's office declined to comment on the case. Chen's defense attorney did not immediately respond to our questions.

Chen has a history of crashing expensive cars, according to The Drive. In 2013, he reportedly crashed a McLaren in Texas going "triple digit speeds" and received a summons for reckless driving. In 2015, he crashed a Lamborghini in California. "Was kinda driving like an idiot all morning near the Piazza Gran Turismo event in Westlake Village even though they had signs up about driving slow and not revving," Chen wrote after the crash.

Steve Vaccaro, an attorney and safe streets advocate whose work frequently requires him to review crash investigations in New York City, said that in cases like these, a thorough initial investigation is crucial.

"What did the police do at the scene? Did they follow the proper procedure in collecting, logging, and preserving evidence? And what did the assistant district attorney do after that?" Vaccaro said. "No one is ever 100% perfect all the time," he added. "And the system is set up so that things like this will sometimes happen."

Still, Vaccaro said that given how much video evidence exists in Chen's case, it would make sense for Vance's office to explain what went wrong, if anything. He cited a recent example from Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, in which the district attorney apologized for his "mistake" in failing to prosecute a driver who killed 85-year-old Stella Clinton in 2019.

"We're asking for low-level criminal penalties for reckless drivers as a way of sending the message that it's just not worth it," Vaccaro said. "But the opposite message is easily drawn from this state of affairs."

Vance's office has a mixed record when it comes to successfully prosecuting reckless drivers. In several high profile cases, he declined to charge drivers who killed pedestrians, including 9-year-old Cooper Stock, who was fatally struck by a cab driver in 2014. Vance has since lobbied for tougher laws against dangerous driving. Last month, he announced an indictment against the truck driver who killed 3-year-old Bertin DeJesus and injured his mother in East Harlem in 2019.

A bill currently proposed in the City Council would remove the responsibility of serious crash investigations from the NYPD and give it to the Department of Transportation. At a hearing on the bill last month, it was revealed that the NYPD investigated just 374 of the city's more than 44,000 crashes that resulted in injury.

The NYPD, which opposes the legislation, has not responded to our request for comment on Chen's case.

Last year was the deadliest in the Vision Zero era for New York City streets. The DOT attributed this rise in traffic deaths partly to an explosion of reckless drivers, who began speeding during the beginning of the pandemic and have not stopped.