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New York City Bills Cyclist for Damage to Police Cruiser that Hit Him

A Brooklyn cyclist who was struck by a police car on Flushing Ave. last November received a $1,263.01 bill from the city for damages to the car, the Post reports.

Justin Johnsen, 31, was hit from behind by an unmarked police car while biking near the Brooklyn Navy Yards on Nov. 5. Johnsen sustained cuts from the incident and was taken to New York Methodist Hospital, where he received stitches.

He was not ticketed for the crash with the Ford Taurus owned by the NYPD.

“I think it’s preposterous,” Johnsen told the Post.

“I was upset. I was in kind of disbelief that they were going to send this letter after four months or so and ask me to pay damages for their vehicle, when they hit me when I was on a bicycle.”

He says he did not consider suing the NYPD, although the officer who hit him never apologized. “I didn’t feel too good . . . I got some big gashes to my elbows,” Johnsen said of the crash.

He said the two police officers who were in the Taurus, including Sgt. Conrad DePinto, were “pretty friendly,” although “not apologetic at all.”

Johnsen retained a lawyer when the city threatened to sue him for the amount.

When the Post inquired about the bill, the city decided to waive it. The Post says that makes it the third time the city dropped such charges after they inquired about them.

Last October the city apologized for billing the family of a Bronx man fatally run over by the NYPD to the tune of $710.

Sources: New York Post, Gothamist


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