Video: Cyclist Survives Intentional Hit-and-Run on Second Avenue

The driver responsible for the June 22 collision has still not been identified, and NYPD told the victim he may not be apprehended.

A nearby security camera caught the moment when a hit-and-run motorist intentionally struck Sam Goater on Second Avenue.
A nearby security camera caught the moment when a hit-and-run motorist intentionally struck Sam Goater on Second Avenue.

On the morning of June 22, Sam Goater was biking from Grand Central Terminal to work in downtown Brooklyn along Second Avenue. At 12th Street, he encountered a motorist in a blue BMW parked in the middle of the protected bike lane and exchanged a few frustrated words, then continued on his way.

Ten blocks later, at 2nd Street, where the parking protection is interrupted by a construction zone approaching Houston Street, the same motorist plowed right into Goater from behind, knocking him off his bike and throwing him 15 feet through the air.

Goater says the gap in protection on this block — which been a bike lane-less construction zone for years — gave his assailant an opening he never should have been able to take advantage of. Miraculously, he sustained only cuts, bruises, and some lingering pain in his back and head. Doctors said he had no serious injuries.

The scene was captured on the security camera of a store across the street, which Strong Towns posted yesterday and Goater has given us permission to share:

The attack came seemingly out of nowhere. “I used to box a little bit and it felt like I got punched in the head,” Goater told Streetsblog this morning.

At the scene of the crash, two officers from the 9th Precinct arrived, and Goater says one was immediately skeptical of his story, asking whether he was in the bike lane or ran a red light.

Police checked the security footage of the nearby Manhattan Mini Storage but it didn’t show the collision. And that appears to be the extent of the initial investigation. Goater got the footage in this video himself the day after the crash.

“I kind of had to do my own detective work to get the video, they wouldn’t have gotten it on their own,” he said. About two weeks went by before he successfully got through to an NYPD detective, who was assigned to the case on July 5 and is still working on it.

The footage in this clip doesn’t identify the vehicle, however. “[The detective] says there’s no way to get the guy’s license plate, so we don’t know who it is,” Goater said.

NYPD’s investigation might have been able to ID the driver had officers conducted a more extensive sweep of security footage nearby early on. But if other cameras did capture the vehicle’s plates, that footage may have been overwritten.

The way things stand now, a driver who intentionally rammed another human being with potentially deadly force is still at large, and it’s anyone’s guess whether NYPD will be able to apprehend him.