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District Attorney Investigates Alleged Hit-and-Run by Former Police Commissioner

By DNAinfo Staff on January 11, 2010 6:56pm  | Updated on January 12, 2010 7:51am

Former New York Police Commissioner Howard Safir, March 23, 1999.
Former New York Police Commissioner Howard Safir, March 23, 1999.
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AP Photo/Adam Nadel

By Shayna Jacobs

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MUNICIPAL DISTRICT — Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. is investigating allegations that former city police commissioner Howard Safir hit a pregnant woman on the Upper East Side on Friday and then drove away.

The NYPD did not charge Safir after the purported hit-and-run. He is accused of backing his Cadillac SUV into Joanne Valarezo, of the Bronx, who is seven months pregnant.

"He definitely saw me," Valarezo, 30, told the Daily News.

A spokesperson for Vance said the district attorney has been following the incident since it was reported and confirmed that an investigation is pending.

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said detectives in the 19th Precinct evaluated the case and decided there was no criminality involved, the Daily News reported.

"They determined that [Safir] didn't know he had struck the individual," Kelly said.

Vance's spokesperson could not comment on a possible time frame for filing charges against Safir.

On the campaign trial, Vance pledged to prioritize the prosecution of vehicular crimes, citing a need to increase penalties for vehicular homicides.