The cyclist who says he was dragged around Central Park by a Fox News writer, who won't face any charges in the incident, tells us neither cops or prosecutors tried very hard to investigate the incident.
Speaking to Gawker today, Dooda says, "I'm shocked that there's not anything illegal about what he did."
Dooda was allegedly dragged for four city blocks on the hood of Fox Newser Don Broderick's car—which had New York Press license plates, owing to his status as a Fox News employee—two months ago after the two got into a traffic altercation. Multiple witnesses saw Dooda begging for his life on the car's hood before Dooda managed to climb off and Broderick fled the scene. The police were called, Dooda filed a complaint, and the NYPD arrested Broderick and charged him with leaving the scene of an accident with a personal injury on June 12. And then yesterday, for mystifying reasons, the Manahttan district attorney's office told us that it was declining to prosecute Broderick.
Dooda says he never heard from the DA assigned to his case until last week, when she told him that his case was getting tossed. "I said, 'I have so many eyewitnesses saying that this guy was trying to run me over—doesn't that count for something?' She said, 'No.'" The DA's explanation is that it can't prove that Dooda, whose elbow was scratched and bleeding after the incident, was injured. "She said she couldn't charge him criminally with anything unless I was injured, and that a scuffed elbow wasn't enough."
To hear Dooda tell it, the NYPD and the Manhattan DA never took the incident very seriously. Dooda heard from an NYPD detective not long after the attack—he took photos of the scratches on Dooda's elbow and took down a statement. "I don't think he ever investigated any of it," Dooda says.
Even though Broderick was arrested and charged not long after that, Dooda says he didn't hear from the detective again until two weeks ago, and it seemed like he hadn't done much investigating in the intervening months. "He didn't know that Gawker had talked to Broderick and admitted that there had been an altercation," Dooda says. (We tracked Broderick down in June, and he told us that Dooda had attacked him.) The detective wouldn't even confirm to Dooda that Broderick had been arrested—something that the NYPD told Gawker two months ago. "He was being very secretive," Dooda says.
Indeed, Broderick's case has been handled strangely from the beginning: After his arrest, he was given a court date in July. Gawker attended what was supposed to be Broderick's appearance before a judge, but Broderick was called out of the courtroom by a bailiff before his appearance and never returned. When we asked the bailiff where Broderick went, we were told that the case had been delayed and his appearance needed to be rescheduled. On an almost daily basis since then, we called the Manhattan DA's office for updates on the case, and were told variously that the case was still being investigated or that the DA handling the case was on vacation. Our first firm word on it came yesterday, when the DA's office told us that the case would not be prosecuted.
A spokeswoman for DA's office told us yesterday that she would try to get back to us with an explanation for why Broderick wasn't charged with any other potential crimes that didn't require proof that Dooda had sustained an injury—like leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, or reckless driving. She hasn't done so, and the detective who investigated the case hasn't returned our phone calls.
Broderick, who has been accused by former co-workers of having anger-management issues in the past, told Gawker yesterday that "the DA's action speaks for itself." Dooda, for his part, is not happy to continue sharing the road with a guy who, on top of previous reports of threatening behavior unearthed by Gawker, is apparently willing to drag people around on the hood of his car when he's angry at them. "It's pretty frightening," he says.