NEW YORK — Former New York City mayor David Dinkins says he was never aware he had struck a bicyclist with his car earlier this summer.
Dinkins made the claim in response to a lawsuit filed Friday that says Dinkins left the scene after striking a bicycle deliveryman on June 30.
The former Democratic mayor said in a statement Saturday he was driving his wife to the hospital when a man came up to his car and told him that he hit a bicycle half a block away.
Dinkins says he later returned to the alleged accident scene but didn’t find anyone there. He says police interviewed him and inspected his car.
However, the lawyer for alleged victim Rodrigo Garcia says Dinkins’ car clipped Garcia’s bike, throwing him to the ground and breaking his ankle.
Here is Dinkins’ full statement below:
“On the morning of June 30, I drove my bride Joyce to her doctor because she wasn’t feeling well. As a result of her examination, her physician directed her to go to the New York Presbyterian Emergency Room on East 68th Street for immediate treatment. I, of course, said I would drive Joyce to the hospital right away. As we neared the hospital on York Avenue, a man came up to my car window and told me my car had been hit by a bicycle about a half a block away. It was the first time I was aware of any such incident. I told the man that my wife was in medical distress and that we were on the way to the emergency room a short distance away, but that I would return to the area he described once I got her into the ER. 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. The officers also inspected my car.
So it’s clear: I was not aware of any contact between the bicycle and my car at the time it may have occurred. When I became aware of the incident, I not only returned to the scene, I also fully cooperated in the making of the police department accident report. I take my responsibilities as a driver in New York City very seriously and would never do anything to violate the law. I have spent my lifetime helping New Yorkers and nothing will ever change that.”