New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

CBS New York Victim In Dec. 29 SUV Bicycle Attack In Manhattan Says Little Has Been Done By City Since by Jenna DeAngelis

Victim In Dec. 29 SUV Bicycle Attack In Manhattan Says Little Has Been Done By City Since

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It has been nearly a month since a driver was terrorized by teen cyclists in Midtown.

That man is frustrated there has been little progress in the case.

On Thursday, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis went straight to Mayor Bill de Blasio to find out what’s being done.

Video shows young cyclists shouting and throwing their bodies and bikes on the hood of an SUV. It was a shocking sight for those outside on Fifth Avenue, but even more frightening for Max Torgovnick and his mother, who were inside the car.

Three weeks later, they are still struggling.

“I’ve been feeling a lot more anxiety just being out in the streets. I still haven’t been back in a car driving because the thought of it kind of terrifies me,” Torgovnick said.

Days after his altercation, Torgovnick said he captured video of another group of ATVs and dirt bikes speeding through Upper East Side streets.

“It was really quite triggering after what I had just been through to experience that again,” Torgovnick said.

The native New Yorker called on the city to move his case forward because little has been done.

DeAngelis went to the mayor, asking, “What is the city doing to address this specific incident, such as arrests and other ways to address aggressive biking groups?”

“It was a moment that really upset people and the answer is to show consequences and we’ll get you the latest on the arrests and prosecutions. But that’s unacceptable behavior,” de Blasio said.

The mayor also said that the incident wasn’t representative of “the city we’re living in.”

“It was acted on quickly by the NYPD but that’s also, lord knows, something we very rarely see and it’s not representative of this city and it’s not fair for anyone to suggest it is. This is a city that’s overwhelmingly law-abiding people and a city that’s made a lot of progress over not just years but decades becoming a safe place. We had an extraordinarily tough 2020, but we are changing from 2020 into 2021, and you’re not gonna see that kind of thing because we’re going to be in a much better position going forward, including to bring the community into the process of helping to make us safe more and more. That’s what we’re going to see in 2021,” de Blasio said.

Torgovnick said that’s not good enough.

“The mayor’s response is the kind of response he gave three weeks ago, saying there will be consequences. But what has been done in those three weeks?” he said.

Police said one 17-year-old has been arrested since the incident, charged with riot and criminal mischief, adding the investigation is ongoing.

“I’m looking for some kind of systemic change — not just on a law enforcement perspective, but also from a socioeconomic perspective. They are teenagers and to see that hatred and that anger have to be displayed in that violent manner stuck with me,” Torgovnick said.

He’s trying to enact change on his own, connecting with city Councilman Ben Kallos for help.

“Max has proposed a really great idea, which is just that if you are calling 911 from a mobile phone you should be able to set it so that the operator can see your live video, can hear what’s going on around you and have that available as evidence,” Kallos said.

It’s an idea the councilmember plans to explore in an effort to make something good out of a bad experience and make city streets more safe. They would be exploring this with security in mind as an option for callers who consent to using a video method.

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