Cabbie Arrested After Dragging Cyclist 80 Feet in Deadly Crash, NYPD Says
EAST HARLEM — An unlicensed livery cab driver was arrested after he fatally struck a bicyclist and dragged him about 80 feet through East Harlem Monday morning, police said.
Nojeem Odunfa, 65, was driving south on Park Avenue alongside cyclist Jerrison Garcia, 25, about 5:15 a.m., when he swung the car left onto East 108th Street and struck the bike, an NYPD spokesman said.
Odunfa then dragged Garcia's body for approximately 80 feet along 108th Street before finally coming to a stop, police said. A blood trail was still visible on the pavement hours after the crash.
Garcia was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and pronounced dead, police said.
Odunfa, of Edenwald, remained on the scene and was arrested for driving without a license, a right of way violation and a failure to exercise due care, the NYPD said.
Odunfa was not registered with the Taxi and Limousine Commission, as is required under law, a spokesman said.
It was not immediately clear if Odunfa had been picking up passengers and taking fares, which would be illegal without a TLC license, or simply driving the car.
The car he was driving and the company it is affiliated with, Glory Car and Limo Service Inc., were both properly registered with the commission, according to a TLC official.
A staff member at the car service declined to give any further information. The TLC was investigating. The Department of Motor Vehicles did not immediately have further information about Odunfa's driving history.
Family gathered at Garcia's Washington Heights home and set up a memorial outside where mourners scrawled notes of condolence onto pieces of cardboard.
"Every day he was doing the same thing — riding this bike. He was a good kid. No trouble at all," said Garcia's 31-year-old cousin, Jay San. "This is the first time I've ever felt so much pain. I was not prepared for this."
A white bicycle was chained to a pole on 108th Street, memorializing another bicyclist who was killed there recently, neighbors said.
"There's car accidents here all the time. They drive like this is a highway," said Judy, 38.