By David Greene
BRONX, NEW YORK, March 27- An elderly man crossing the street and an illegal dirt bike rider are recovering, after witnesses say an NYPD cruiser caused the crash.
According to police, the 77-year-old pedestrian was crossing Boston Road at Thwaites Place in the Bronxwood section at just before 5 p.m., on March 24, when he was struck by a still-unidentified 20-year-old illegal dirt bike rider, traveling southbound on Boston Road.
Witnesses and police have stated that the African-American dirt bike rider suffered a serious head injury and was bleeding from his noise. The elderly white male was reported to be face down in the roadway, the bike reportedly slammed into his legs.
On witnesses recalled, "He hit the old man that was crossing and the guy on the motorcycle was driving against the light. The guy on the motorcycle was with a group of more than 20."
Some witnesses have estimated the caravan of illegal dirt bikes, three-wheelers and all-terrain vehicles (ATV) was as many as 50, as the victim was crossing with the light, when he was rundown outside of the Steven Restaurant.
"The police were after them," the witness claimed, when the police cruiser from the 49th Precinct allegedly bumped the bike just before the intersection, causing the chain reaction crash.
One employee at the C-Town across the street, offered, “Customers were saying that the cop car hit the motorcycle and it crashed into the man.”
The police department has so far discounted claims that a police cruiser caused the crash and have stated the cruiser was making a U-turn when the motorcyclist lost control.
The officer behind the wheel of the police vehicle closest to the dirt bike was briefly questioned by a detective and a Highway Patrol investigator.
Both victims were reported at Jacobi Hospital in serious, but stable condition. One published report stated the bike rider was in police custody, and so far has not been charged.
Another witness said of the group of riders, "They saw their friend get hit and was on the floor, but they kept going."
The accident comes as biker Alberto Gonzalez is currently on trial regarding a similar incident back on August 11, in Hunts Point, where he faces resisting arrest and reckless endangerment charges.
Video released on March 24, clearly shows an NYPD cruiser from the 41st Precinct, striking the bike. That crash claimed the life of building superintendent Eddie Fernandez, 28, who was thrown into a pole.
On October 27, Ronald Herrera, 20, died and a passenger was seriously injured during a chase with a police cruiser along Walton Avenue.
Once again, the NYPD stated that the cruiser did not cause the crash, witnesses say the cruiser bumped the dirt bike.