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Back to work: Video evidence leads cops to reopen investigation into Clinton Hill hit-and-run • Brooklyn Paper

Back to work: Video evidence leads cops to reopen investigation into Clinton Hill hit-and-run

Tight: A Clinton Hill cyclist with a camera caught the moment a driver knocked him off his bike before fleeing the scene on Vanderbilt Avenue on May 6.
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The police are looking back into an investigation of a driver who hit a cyclist on Vanderbilt Avenue and fled the scene, after this paper reported the incident on May 16.

Cops with the 88th Precinct initially closed the case of a the motorist who sideswiped Queens resident Jason Gan near Willoughby Avenue on May 6 without making arrests, because they didn’t have the car’s license plates, according to a spokeswoman for the department – but decided to give it another look after this reporter sent the department a first-person video of the incident that Gan posted online on the day of the collision.

“I spoke to the commanding officer and was informed the report was closed because the cyclist was hit by an unknown vehicle,” Det. Denise Moroney said in an emailed statement. “I shared the plate information and the complaint has since been opened and the squad is looking into the matter.”

Gan sustained injuries to his arm and leg after the gold-colored Nissan Altima with out-of-state plates knocked him off his bike and sped off.

The 22-year-old told this paper he was on his way back from running errands in Gowanus and the driver honked at him when he swerved to avoid a double-parked car, just before 5:30 p.m.

“After that I moved all the way over to the right as close as I could to the parked cars,” Gan said.

But the driver apparently grew impatient and sped up, hitting Gan’s handlebar with his side mirror, knocking him into the car’s back panel before he hit the asphalt, according to cyclist.

“All of a sudden I can hear him accelerating towards me and the minute I see his front panel, I can tell that he is way closer. Then his mirror got my handlebar and back panel hit my body,” he said.

The cyclist believes that the driver intentionally hit him because the car was able to pass another biker right behind him without a problem.

He also said that the driver sped off because there was a police car about a block ahead of them.

“There’s a cop car like 50 feet in front of me — I think that’s why the guy sped off so fast, because he saw that and reacted to that,” he said. “It just sucks a lot.”

This is his third time a motorist has struck Gan and made a run for it, the cyclist said. The first time, a driver hit him in East Williamsburg, leaving him with a concussion last October and he said he was struck again in Greenpoint in February.

Brooklyn’s streets are proving to be treacherous for cyclists.

Since the beginning of this 2019, 10 cyclists died at the hand of drivers, with eight of the fatal collisions in Brooklyn and three of those in just the last four days.

Gan was happy to come out of the incident with just minor injuries and was thankful for the other cyclists and pedestrians who stayed on the scene with him until police arrived.

He was also glad to hear that the department is reopening his case, but said he has learned from his previous interactions with the Boys in Blue that they don’t take cases seriously where the victims aren’t severely hurt.

“Unless there’s a serious injury — broken bones or something like that — the police treat it as a motor vehicle accident, not a felony,” he said.

But the department spokeswoman said that police takes every accident seriously.

“The NYPD takes every accident seriously and investigates every case with sensitivity and care,” Moroney said. “We courage all people to share information that could further an investigation.”

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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