[UPDATE AT BOTTOM NOW WITH VIDEO] The driver of a white Audi was in the wrong place at the wrong time last night when he had the misfortune of crossing paths with a large crowd gathered at the intersection of Broadway and Bleecker Street. Several witnesses say the crowd was runoff from Fashion's Night Out events, but that has not been confirmed, so let's not hastily besmirch the reputation of New York's most fabulous night in fashion. But freelance photographer Jika Gonzalez tells us:
At approximately 11:15 p.m. I saw a crowd around a white AUDI. A bunch of guys started jumping and running over the car. They ended up smashing the windshield while the driver, Mitchell Levine, was still in the vehicle. Levine called the police in fear for his life but the police took over 20 minutes to arrive.
The NYPD press office could not immediately provide any information about the incident, so it's unclear if any arrests were made. (Gonzalez did not witness any arrests.) If you saw it, let us know! Naturally the mob scene got some attention on Twitter:
Niggas started dancing in the street and on top of this dude's car Wildin for respect. #FNO was live. nobody gave a fuck..
— G.A.W.D. (@Be_Y0Unique) September 7, 2012
So this year @ FNO, people were breaking car windows and standing on them? Smh wow
—MINAsmiless !(@loveMINAA) September 7, 2012
Holy shit. Giant mob was jumping on, rocking car on broadway and bleecker. Now so many cops twitter.com/bjm/status/243…
— Brian Martin (@bjm) September 7, 2012
— Georgia Wells (@georgia_wells) September 7, 2012
We'll update when more information becomes available.
Update 11:03 a.m.: According to one witness, the incident may have been sparked by an altercation between a cyclist and the driver. A tipster writes in with this account:
I witnessed the middle of the incident but didn't know exactly what lead up to it or ended up happening. I live around the corner. When I took my dog for a walk at about 11, there was a crowd of hundreds gathered on Broadway, between Bleecker and Houston, and loud, amplified music was playing. I wasn't sure what was going on, so I moved closer to Broadway to get a better look. Downtown traffic on Broadway was trying to push through the crowd when the Audi nearly hit a bicyclist crossing the Bleecker and Broadway intersection. Not clear who was at fault. The byciclist stopped in front of the Audi and began screaming at the driver. I couldn't hear what was being said. This drew the attention of at least some in the crowd, who encircled the car and began running over it. Within minutes, there were dozens around the car (though most looked like they were just filming with their phones). It didn't look like a stable situation, so I went back inside, fearing that things might get out of hand.
Update 1:11 p.m.: And here's video of the pandemonium, which does seem to be caused, in part at least, by the cyclist blocking the Audi driver. That and FASHION!
Update 6:01 p.m.: In response to our inquiry about the incident, an NYPD spokesperson tells us one person was arrested for Obstruction of Governmental Administration, and a second arrested for Disorderly Conduct. In addition, the NYPD appears to contradict assertions that it took officers 20 minutes to respond. The spokesperson tells us, "The first 911 call came in at 2259 hrs, the motorist called himself at 2303 and by 2306 hrs the police were calling for additional assistance at the scene."