NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police say an Uber driver is dead after being attacked by a man with a hockey stick in Chelsea, and going on to crash.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, investigators believe the attack followed a quarrel outside Chelsea Piers late Saturday night. A suspect was arrested and charged late Sunday.
Police say 68-year-old Randolph Tolk of West New York, New Jersey was bludgeoned in the head by the pedestrian late Saturday when he was stopped at a red light West 20th Street and Eleventh Avenue in Chelsea.
When the suspect hit Tolk’s car with the hockey stick, Tolk got out of the car and the men began to fight, police said.
“He got out, and rightfully so — he needs to see what happened to his vehicle,” said Fernando Mateo of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers.
Police said the suspect hit the driver over the head and ran away.
“He was hit in the head. He fell to the ground,” Mateo said. “The guy put his foot on his chest; held him on the ground.”
Police say Tolk then got back in his car went another 10 blocks downtown on the West Side Highway before his 2010 Toyota Camry struck a center divider on West Street at Horatio Street shortly before midnight Sunday morning. He was pronounced dead at Northwell Health Lenox Hill Healthplex.
Late Sunday, Kohji Kosugi, 39, of the East Village, was charged with manslaughter in the incident. He said nothing as he was led out of the NYPD 10th Precinct station.
Police found the suspect by checking surveillance footage at Chelsea Piers, and were able to identify him because of the hockey stick, 1010 WINS reported.
“It’s very sad to see a driver at that age working that late at night and being assaulted by a young man,” Mateo said. “If he wouldn’t have gotten hit, he wouldn’t have died. So we don’t know the reason for his death was, but we believe it’s associated with the blow he took to the head.”
CBS2’s Bauman spoke briefly to Tolk’s brother – who did not want to go on camera, but said Tolk was a wonderful brother, father, and grandfather.
Police have not made it clear whether Tolk was killed by the blow to the head, or whether it disoriented him and he died in the crash. The New York City Medical Examiner’s office will determine the cause of his death.
Police said Tolk did not have any passengers at the time.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)