In June, Courtney Fullilove, an assistant professor of history at Wesleyan University, was riding her bike in the bike lane on Central Park West when she was allegedly assaulted by Manhattan-based attorney Marshall Feiring, who resides near the park. Feiring was charged with two counts of assault and harassment, and it's still unclear what may have motivated his alleged actions. But Fullilove believes she did nothing to provoke Feiring before he allegedly grabbed the security chain tied around her waist and violently yanked her off her bike.
According to a civil lawsuit against Feiring, Fullilove was seriously injured in the crash, "suffering a severe concussion, memory loss, psychological trauma, fatigue, loss of vision, recurrent disabling headaches, spinal derangement, contusions to the right hip, abrasions to the nose and face, and other injuries, requiring emergency treatment at a hospital, and additional medical care and assistance thereafter. Fullilove sustained pain, suffering and mental anguish due to these injuries."
The crash happened in the bike lane near the intersection of West 108th Street and Central Park West around 7:45 p.m. on June 13th. Fullilove lost all memory of the incident due to head trauma, but her lawyer, Steve Vaccaro, says bystanders witnessed the assault and have given statements, and police responding to the scene arrested Feiring, who lives near the park. His attorney, Sanford Talkin (visit him at TalkinLaw.com!), declined to comment on what his client's motivation may or may not have been, telling us only that Feiring "maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court."
Feiring's next court appearance is in December. In a letter to Manhattan DA Cy Vance, Fullilove's lawyer urged the DA to "vigorously prosecute Fiering," arguing that his client "was wearing a helmet but still sustained a severe concussion, and continues to suffer the apparently permanent effects of traumatic brain injury. The circumstances of the assault bespeak malice. There is no evidence that Fullilove... violated any traffic law or otherwise threatened or provoked Feiring. Indeed, Feiring illegally entered the bike lane to reach Fullilove."
Her civil lawsuit against Feiring seeks unspecified damages, and also serves as a reminder of the media-amplified tension between pedestrians and cyclists in the park. One month after Fullilove's crash, a legally blind lawyer was jogging in Central Park when he was hit by a cyclist—he suffered a fractured pelvis and hip, and lost some teeth—he also couldn't get out of his hospital bed for two days. In the wake of that high-profile accident, the NYPD started handing out brochures to remind cyclists that the speed limit in the park (25 mph) also applies to cyclists.