NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The terrifying Tuesday afternoon attack on a man and his mother inside their vehicle in Manhattan has gone viral.
Now, new video shows what is believed to be the same group of bicyclists assaulting a taxi driver just five minutes earlier, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Thursday.
This horrifying scene on 29th St & 5th Ave yesterday – an arbitrary and unprovoked attack on this taxi driver. (the bikers then proceeded to do this to 2 other cars down 5th) Was anyone else a witness to this–please share your videos with the 13th Detective Squad! @kaptainjac pic.twitter.com/Zfnt42O3jo
— Teny Geragos, Esq. (@tenygeragos) December 30, 2020
The assailants are seen swarming around the cab on Fifth Avenue between 28th and 29th streets and smashing its windows. One cyclist is seen picking up his bike and hitting the cabbie in the back.
The driver’s family, too traumatized to speak on camera, shared pictures of his bruising and the busted windows, which cost the already struggling cabbie more than $2,000 to repair.
Max Torgovnick, the Upper East Side man behind the wheel during the latter attack on Tuesday, is urging the city to act, especially after learning the same group of cyclists had attacked a cab driver just minutes before they went after him.
“I’ve lived here my entire life as a New Yorker, for 36 years. I feel like I’m entitled to answers from the city as to what allowed this to happen and what they’re going to do to make sure it doesn’t happen to anybody else again,” Torgovnick said.
Police have released still images of bicyclists they’re looking for and have made at least one arrest, a 15-year-old boy. He was charged with rioting and criminal mischief.
“I don’t know that I want them to go to jail. I don’t know that that would help them,” Torgovnick said. “But there needs to be accountability and way to address it in a healthy, socially productive way.”
Torgovnick and his 74-year-old mother were traveling in their BMW SUV down Fifth Avenue at 22nd Street in the Flatiron District, when the group of bicyclists surrounded them.
Some held on to the SUV for a ride until, Torgovnick said, one cyclist fell and set off an angry mob attack. He said the individuals bashed windows and threw their bikes onto the hood. One cyclist ran up and shattered the windshield with the full weight of his body, all while their biking buddies laughed and cheered.
“When he smashed the glass, at that point my biggest fear was, they’re going to get in the car, they’re going to pull me out, and I could be killed,” Torgovnick said. “All of them were off their bikes, surrounding the car, banging on the glass, banging on the hood, screaming, ‘Get out of the car! Roll down the window!’
“Before I knew it, my mom was crying. She’s screaming into the phone, the 911 operator, ‘Help! Send help! We are going to die. They are going to kill us!'” he added.
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On Thursday, CBS2 brought Torgovnick’s plea for answers to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
When asked what the city is going to do to make sure an incident like that doesn’t happen again, the mayor said, “Hazel, this is absolutely unacceptable. You have these teenagers doing something that’s just wrong, period. We gotta teach our young people better all the time. It’s incumbent upon all of us, but we also have to have consequences, so there will be consequences in this case.”
But some critics doubt that the consequences will be enough.
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez contributed to this report