Cabbie Who Maimed British Tourist Won't Be Charged, DA Says
MANHATTAN — The out-of-control taxi driver who jumped a curb and hit a British tourist near Rockefeller Center three months ago won't be prosecuted, the District Attorney's office said Thursday.
Cabbie Mohammed Faysal Himon, 24, was driving north on Sixth Avenue near 49th Street Aug. 20 when he got into a fight with a bicyclist, lost control and jumped a curb, slamming into Sian Green, 23, who was sitting with a friend near Rockefeller Center.
As Green lay bleeding, good Samaritans ran to her aid, including Dr. Mehmet Oz and a plumber, David Justino, but her leg had to be amputated below the knee.
"We have concluded that criminal charges cannot be filed in this case," a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney's office said in a statement on Thursday. "We are sensitive to the trauma faced by Ms. Green and others injured in vehicular crashes, and notified the attorneys for all parties last week of this decision."
Prosecutors conducted a monthslong investigation into the crash, poring over tape and interviewing witnesses, the spokeswoman said.
But an assistant district attorney told Green's lawyers they won't prosecute Himon because they lack evidence showing his intent during the crash, Green's lawyer said. Intent could help show whether the crash was the result of negligence or accidental.
No criminal charges at all will be brought in the case, the DA's spokeswoman said, which means the cyclist with whom Himon was arguing, Kenneth Olivo, also won't face charges.
"The Green Family is shocked by this news, and disappointed," said the family's lawyer, Daniel Marchese.
Marchese said he'll begin collecting information about Green's injuries along with the official investigation before deciding whether to sue those who were involved in the crash.
"I think the driver was liable. I think the bike rider might be liable as well. Once I've finished vetting all the potential players, we'll make a decision as to who will get sued," Marchese said.
Marchese said that Green, a fashion student, was disappointed by the news, but determined to continue pursuing a modeling career.
"She's maintained an unparalleled grace and poise throughout this ordeal and it persists to this day," Green's lawyer said.
Himon and the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers had blamed the cyclist, who Himon said had been riding erratically, sparking a road-rage fight.
"We are very pleased that the District Attorney recognizes Mr. Himon’s innocence, and our thoughts and prayers remain with Ms. Green and her family as she continues to recover from her injuries," the driver's advocacy group said in a Thursday statement.
Himon's Taxi and Limousine Commission license was suspended for 30 days after the crash because he'd exceeded the number of points allowed for his license. He's back driving since his license was reinstated and he last took the wheel on Halloween, a TLC spokesman said.
The TLC had failed to flag nearly 4,500 drivers, including Himon, who should've been off the road because they had too many violation points on their licenses, a commission spokesman said.
"I'm very sorry about it," Himon said during a press conference days after the crash. "It's not my fault. It was an accident. I'm going to always pray for her. I wish her luck."
In her first interview after the crash, Green thanked the many good Samaritans who rushed to her aid, including the TV celebrity doctor and Justino, who used his own belt to tie a tourniquet around her severed leg.
"There's good people in the world, very good people in the world, who I can't thank enough," Green told the interviewer.
In a recent Instagram post, she reflected on a short video about a BMX biker who lost his leg in a 2006 accident only to hop back on the bike and keep riding.
"I was so touched by the video," she wrote Tuesday.
"I've been an amputee for 12 weeks now and to see what he has achieved after his accident makes me even more confident inspired #Amazingstory #Amazingsong #rudimental #I #am #A #strong #Amputee"
With reporting by Ben Fractenberg