A cyclist was killed in Brooklyn on Monday morning after being struck by an SUV driver who reportedly believed the cyclist had broken into his car earlier.
A police spokesperson says that the incident happened around 6 a.m. on Broadway near Ellery Street in Bushwick. The driver, who was operating a black Jeep Grand Cherokee, struck a 47-year-old cyclist, whose name has not been released. The cyclist was taken to Woodhull Hospital, where he died.
According to the Daily News, the 41-year-old driver believed he saw the cyclist "fiddling with cars" on the block, and decided to confront him because his SUV had been broken into earlier. After their exchange, the cyclist left, and the driver followed him, slamming into him and several other cars before flipping over his vehicle. The News obtained graphic security camera video of the collision, and reports that the SUV driver "also hit two parked cars and a semi-truck before flipping on its side. Two car stereos, a screwdriver, a set of Allen wrenches, and a fake pistol lay amidst the wreckage as cops investigated."
The NYPD spokesperson added that the driver is in custody, and charges are pending. The spokesperson could not confirm the allegation about the cyclist breaking into cars, but said it was under investigation.
“The chaos on our streets is outrageous and must end," said Thomas DeVito, Director of Advocacy at Transportation Alternatives. "This apparent vigilante killing of a person on a bike by a reckless SUV driver paints a horrible—if extreme—picture of the intersection of violence and NYC’s prevailing car culture. Vehicles can be, and often are, used as deadly weapons. They are more frequently used to threaten and intimidate. Brad Lander’s Reckless Driver Accountability Act and Speaker Johnson’s Streets Master Plan Bill need to passed this Fall. New Yorkers have waited too long already."
Last week, a cyclist who fell off his e-bike after colliding with a pedestrian in Central Park died of his injuries. Today's death marks the 21st cyclist to die on city streets this year, representing a twofold increase from the total bike fatalities in all of 2018. Total traffic fatalities are up more than 20 percent year-to-date, according to data maintained by the NYPD.