Lawyer Arrested for Knocking Down Bicyclist in Central Park
UPPER WEST SIDE — A tax attorney at a white-shoe law firm was arrested after allegedly knocking a history professor off her bike near Central Park, stoking an already touchy turf war in the area between pedestrians and cyclists.
Lawyer Marshall Feiring, 60, stepped into a bike lane at the intersection of Central Park West and West 108th Street at 7:45 p.m. on June 13 and intentionally yanked a heavy-link chain around Courtney Fullilove's shoulder after she swerved to avoid him, according to a witness account in a criminal complaint.
The jolt sent Fullilove hurtling to the ground, leaving her with a concussion and injuries to her spine, right hip, nose and face, court records show.
Police charged Feiring — who lives on the block where the alleged takedown occurred — with misdemeanor assault and harassment, according to the criminal complaint.
Fullilove, who earned her doctorate at Columbia University, filed a lawsuit against Feiring on Monday, claiming her injuries forced her to take a leave of absence from a teaching gig at Wesleyan College and delayed her chances of becoming a tenured professor.
Fullilove's lawyer, Steve Vaccaro, said he doesn't know Feiring's motivation for allegedly striking his client.
"I think that in this crowded city, where we all have to share space, sometimes there are situations where tensions run high," said Vaccaro, whose firm specializes in bicyclists' rights. "I don't know if this is the case here."
He added that Fullilove was riding in the northbound bike lane and going with the light when Feiring walked into her.
"We believe that Miss Fullilove was in the bike lane and she should not have been disturbed," Vaccaro said. "I don't think that pedestrians understand how much they can hurt a bicyclist."
Feiring works at white-shoe law firm Sidley Austin, and previously worked for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), according to his online profile.
His next case appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court is Dec. 18.
His lawyer, Sanford Talkin, declined to discuss the incident, but vowed to take the case to trial.
"I won't get into the details, but the complaint does not nearly have all the facts of the incident," he said. "We're looking forward to defending this case."
Tensions between pedestrians and bicyclists in Central Park have flared in recent months. In August a blind lawyer training for a marathon was struck by a cyclist in a pedestrian pathway on East 90th Street.
In September city officials announced a plan to widen the pedestrian lane and the bicyclist lane on the Central Park loop.