Last month, a driver swerved into the bike lane on Grand Street in Williamsburg and knocked Matthew van Ohlen off of his bike, then ran over his body and dragged him 20 to 30 feet, killing him. Police recovered the driver’s Camaro a few days later, but they still have not yet made an arrest. Why not?
The NYPD is generally reluctant to go after drivers involved in fatal crashes, but van Ohlen’s case would seem uniquely brutal. Just one day after his death, cops told reporters that it looked like the driver had swerved into the bike lane to hit van Ohlen intentionally. And if the police have the car that killed him, it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out who owns that car, or who was driving it that night.
But it seems that they’re still looking. Yesterday, DNAinfo reported that fliers had been posted near the site of the crash, offering a $2,500 reward for tips about the identity of the driver. It’s not clear why the NYPD hasn’t been able to connect the car to an owner. Benjamin Kabak, the blogger behind Second Ave. Sagas, conspiracy theorized on Twitter that perhaps a high-ranking cop was the driver, and that the NYPD is protecting him or her.
That seems to me like a bit of a stretch, but either way it’s hard to imagine why they haven’t made an arrest. Maybe the car had no license plates and the VIN number was shaved off? Or they just need to get their ducks in a row before they strike? “There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing,” an NYPD spokesman told me when I asked what’s going on, but did not elaborate further. I guess they have other stuff to deal with this morning.