The Hit & Run Crisis

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

— Benjamin Franklin

While there are more and more articles about pedestrians being hit by cars and trucks in New York City, there is little follow-up about what happens next. A recent article describes how a 12 year old girl was hit by a car and it kept on going.

I know what that feels like. And, I’m getting tired of talking about it.

If the police don’t follow up — then what?

Well, I decided to go to the D.A. Some of my favorite people were D.A.s — all except the one that I’d been writing about in my articles about corruption in the Hamptons before Thomas Spota decided to do what’s called a Vendetta Prosecution. That’s where they steal your assets and make it impossible to ever work, leave you without life insurance, turn your family against you and set you on a course to abuse drugs or alcohol. I’d done a lot of alcohol as a rock performer fifty years ago so they were wasting their time with me. I was afraid of drugs so I didn’t go near them.

Spota’s doing five years now upstate with the Feds.

So, I did not hesitate to call Alvin Bragg — the new D.A. The assistant I got on the phone was pleasant. It had only taken me three calls to get ahold of someone who would listen. Or, so I thought.

I said, “Look, some guy hit me about a year ago and I’m still trying to get some help with this case. I’ve written letters, contacted Deborah Glick, Sen. Schumer, Jerry Nadler. I even wrote to the Community Board and to the police several times. Nothing. This guy by the name of Decheneux is telling people he never even hit me even though I have a witness — and he had no license plates, no insurance, no registration. And, I’m getting nowhere. I live in a tourist area that used to be SoHo but is now Chinatown North, and the traffic is getting worse. It’s all tourists and people who don’t follow the law.”

Ms. Heckster said, “Well, why did you wait a year?”

“Huh?” I said. “I just told you that I’ve been trying to get the police to find this guy. He had nothing. I’ve written letters, called the police, even started a lawsuit but it wasn’t exciting enough for a lawyer to take it on a contingency basis and I couldn’t afford to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars to track this guy down so I had to drop it.”

“Well,” said Ms. Heckster, “I understand.”

“But, why did you wait a year?”

As you can imagine, aside from my injuries, I sent a letter to Ms. Heckster and never got a response. I don’t even have a fantasy about her and Alvin discussing this. He’s probably getting a bad rap about being soft on crime. It’s probably just that he’s a sweet guy.

It took the article about the 12 year old girl in Patch to remind me that we have an explosion of Hit & Run cases. If you’re poor and have witnesses who report it to the press, maybe you’ll get help. But don’t count on it.

Time to alert Mr. Bragg that we’re not getting cooperation downtown. But, we are getting a lot of aggressive drivers and is it that the police just don’t give a shit? And, are the Community Board members too wrapped up in deciding what office to run for next, to care?

No one’s paying attention. And, soft on crime, progressive views, and protecting the criminal is not a good political stance.

I knew Bob Morgenthau. He would never have put up with this flagrant abuse of pedestrians and their safety.

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