Driver plows into NYPD traffic agent who ticketed friend's van

The 25-year-old agent had just left a ticket on a van when the driver and his friend got out of the vehicle, confronted and then assaulted the agent

By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Cops on Saturday released images of the irate motorist who ran down a Brooklyn traffic enforcement agent who had just given his friend a ticket, police said.

Wanted posters with images of the suspect were plastered throughout Flatbush, where the violent clash took place, as well as on social media.

EMS rushed the agent to Maimonides Medical Center, where he is expected to recover.
EMS rushed the agent to Maimonides Medical Center, where he is expected to recover. (Photo/Theodore Parisienne of NY Daily News via TNS)

The suspect, described as a Black man dressed all in white, is wanted for “a felony assault on a traffic agent” the poster notes. Cops who see the suspect have “probable cause to arrest.”

The 25-year-old agent had just left a ticket on a Ford van parked on Glenwood Road near Nostrand Ave. around 11:30 a.m. Friday when the driver and his friend got out of the van and confronted the agent, cops said.

The two yelled at the agent, then assaulted him, according to police.

When the fight ended, the suspect got into his own car, a dark-colored Infiniti and barreled toward the agent as he crossed Glenwood Road.

Surveillance video recovered from the scene shows the car clipping the agent with the Infiniti’s front driver’s side. The agent tumbles over the hood before landing in a heap on the asphalt.

The Ford driver, meanwhile, took off in his van in the opposite direction on Glenwood Road.

EMS rushed the agent to Maimonides Medical Center, where he is expected to recover.

Investigators managed to quickly retrieve surveillance video of the incident and the suspect driving the Infiniti. They were also trying to identify the assailants through the license plates on the two vehicles, which they also recovered through video and the agent’s electronic ticket book.

The agent identified the suspects as the ones who assaulted him, a source with knowledge of the case said.

No arrests have been made.

Olufemi Sokunbi, the executive vice president of CWA Local 1182, which represents traffic enforcement agents, said Friday’s hit-and-run was one of several assaults against traffic enforcement agents over the last several months.

The injured agent, who has only worked for the city for two years, has also been previously assaulted on the job, Sokunbi said. Four months ago an angry man threw an energy drink on the agent’s face and whacked him in the back with his walking stick after he gave the man a ticket in Midwood, the union head said.

In light of the spate of assaults against Traffic Enforcement Agents, the union asked the city to approve dual patrols for the agents, but it wasn’t granted, he said.

“They believe the numbers of tickets they will write will be low,” Sokunbi said. “Does that mean our members’ lives are not important despite the fact that we are making over $1 billion yearly for this city?”

Asked why dual patrols have not granted, the NYPD said it “continually assesses all conditions and remains ever-flexible to adjust deployments as appropriate.”

The city rarely authorizes dual patrol for traffic agents, usually only when there’s a spike in crime against all uniformed officers, Sokunbi said.

“Since we wear the same uniform they have to grant us dual patrol,” he said, remembering that one of the few times dual patrol was granted was back in 2007 when a madman shot and killed two volunteers who were members of the NYPD’s Auxiliary Patrol.

“Our department tried to help us, but we need city help. Last week one of our members was shot with a pellet gun in the Bronx during a night shift. This has happened in the Bronx more than two times,” Sokunbi continued.

“What kind of civilians employees are we? Civilians don’t get run over or assaulted when working in their offices,” he said, adding that the union is asking for a title change to peace officer, which would give them more protections in the street.

“Do we have to lose our members through gunshots before the city realizes our lives matter too?” Sokunbi asked. “Members of the public hate us more than the cops because they believe we take money from their pockets. We’re writing tickets to both criminals and non-criminals when they’re illegally parked.”

Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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