The Manhattan District Attorney's office is declining to prosecute Don Broderick, the Fox Newser who was charged with leaving the scene of an accident in June after allegedly hitting a cyclist and taking him on a Central Park death ride.
Broderick, you will recall, was driving an SUV with press license plates—courtesy his job as a news writer for Fox News—in Central Park in June when he got into a confrontation with cyclist Brian Dooda. Dooda, who claims Broderick cut him off, stood in front of Broderick's SUV in order to chide him for driving recklessly, at which point Broderick allegedly rammed Dooda with his car, launched him onto the hood, and stared with what Dooda called "cold psychotic intent" as he drove four blocks through Central Park with the screaming cyclist hanging onto the front of his car for dear life. Then Broderick drove off.
Since that's apparently illegal to in New York, Broderick was arrested in June and charged with leaving the scene of an accident with a personal injury, a misdemeanor. But for reasons that are mystifying to us, the Manhattan DA told Gawker today—after weeks of requests for updates—that they are letting him go unpunished: "We declined to prosecute because we could not sustain the burden of proof on personal injury," a spokeswoman said.
When we spoke to Dooda, the cyclist, in June, he told us that he sustained minor injuries from the death ride, including a scrape on his elbow. And Broderick was arrested on June 12—a full eight days after the incident, which gave the NYPD plenty of time to document Dooda's injuries and determine whether or not they merited a charge of leaving the scene with a personal injury. And even if they didn't, it's still a misdemeanor in New York to leave the scene of an accident with property damage. Asked why, if prosecutors didn't think they could prove that Dooda was injured, they didn't file lesser charges based on damage to Dooda's bike, the DA's office spokeswoman declined to comment. At this point, Dooda's account of the terrifying incident, posted on a bicycling message board last month, bears repeating:
The driver then accelerated, lunging straight into me, knocking me and my bicycle to the ground and to the left side of his car. I quickly got to my feet and positioned myself in front of his vehicle to prevent him from fleeing the scene. I called out to bystanders to call the police and yelled at the driver that he was insane, he just hit me, and he can't leave. The driver again accelerated into me, with no intention of stopping, forcing me, prostrate, onto the drivers side hood of his vehicle. Riding precariously with a 4,000 lb wheel inches from pulling me beneath it, I screamed for the driver to "Stop!!! Please Stop!!" over and over. He continued to ignore my pleas for some 200ft. keeping a steady 5 or 10mph. He then stopped suddenly allowing me to fall off the side of the hood. Just as quickly as he stopped he violently accelerated again knocking me to the side. This time I managed to stay standing. The driver then sped off Northbound. At this point several witnesses came to my aid and reported his license plate.
A witness who posted to the same message board quoted Dooda telling Broderick—while Broderick was allegedly dragging him on the hood of his car—"You could have killed me. Stop, Please stop. This is my life."
We called Dooda to ask what he thought about the fact that the guy he claims dragged him around Central Park is going unprosecuted, but haven't heard back. For his part, Broderick told Gawker: "The DA's action speaks for itself. There's nothing further to say." Back in June, Broderick told us that Dooda was the one who had assaulted him, and that he had done nothing wrong.
Broderick seems to be a lucky guy. After we broke the story of his alleged road-rage, multiple former colleagues at Fox News came forward to tell us about repeated incidents where he allegedly lost his temper and screamed at or threatened co-workers. One former employee said Broderick once threatened to "rip [a production assistant's] head off" and screamed at her in the newsroom; another said Broderick threw a punch at him in the newsroom. After both incidents, sources told Gawker, Broderick was suspended but kept his job.
And now he's been let off the hook for yet another apparent unbridled expression of rage. We've noted before that Broderick's alleged behavior fits into a pattern at Fox News, which is a playground for angry white men who repeatedly go unpunished for lashing out at—or sexually propositioning—their co-workers. (Interestingly, Fox News' festival of white anger transcends politics—Broderick, we're told, is a liberal Democrat.) The past couple weeks of Fox News' coverage have made clear that it's a place where white rage is welcome. While we had Broderick on the phone, we asked him if he had an anger management issue, and he said, "No comment." It's clear that his employer does.