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Former Mayor David Dinkins Left Scene After Striking Cyclist, Lawsuit Says

By Ben Fractenberg | September 7, 2016 8:52am
 Former Mayor David Dinkins was sued by a deliveryman who claimed Dinkins struck him with his vehicle.
Former Mayor David Dinkins was sued by a deliveryman who claimed Dinkins struck him with his vehicle.
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DNAinfo/Theodore Parisienne

MANHATTAN — A cyclist said former mayor David Dinkins struck him with his vehicle in the Upper East Side before fleeing the scene, according to a lawsuit. 

Dinkins, 89, was sued by deliveryman Rodrigo Garcia, 32, who claimed the former mayor hit him on June 30 at York Avenue and East 69th Street, breaking two bones in his leg, the complaint says.

Dinkins said in a statement he was driving his wife, Joyce, to New York Presbyterian Hospital and returned to the scene after he was informed of what happened by a witness who came up to his car window near the medical center.

“After I made sure that Joyce was admitted and being cared for I not only returned right away to the alleged scene in my vehicle (no one was present at that time) but also fully cooperated with officers from the NYPD who interviewed me at the hospital,” Dinkins said in the statement. “The officers also inspected my car.”

Dinkins, though, told an officer after the collision that he was traveling south on York when the bicyclist hit the side of his vehicle, according to a police report. 

Garcia said he was traveling north on York when he tried to make a left turn on 69th and collided with the former mayor's car, the report said. 

The cyclist told the New York Daily News that Dinkins was a dangerous driver.

“You hit me, you don’t even realize you hit me?” Garcia said to the Daily News. “I just think you should not be driving then. And now you’re destroying my life.”

Dinkins added that he takes his “responsibilities as a driver in New York City very seriously,” and would never knowingly break the law.

“I have spent my lifetime helping New Yorkers and nothing will ever change that.”

Garcia's lawyer said he thought Dinkins' story was disingenuous. 

"It seems to take a newspaper [article] to get the acknowledgment that he left the scene of an accident," said Joel Turney. "In the police report he seems to conveniently blame the bicyclist." 

Dinkins had not yet been issued a ticket or summons and the incident is under investigation, an NYPD spokeswoman said.