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Off-Duty FDNY Firefighter Arrested After Disturbing Video Shows Cyclist Nearly Get Run Over

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An FDNY firefighter was arrested Monday following a disturbing incident caught on camera.

Video shows a man appear to intentionally drive his car into a cyclist on the West Side Highway in Manhattan.

Police said the driver and cyclist were arguing last Thursday morning near 24th Street and 12th Avenue when it got physical.

Video shows the driver hit the cyclist with his car, and then continue to push him forward.

Sources tell CBS2 the car had an FDNY placard in the front window and was registered to a firefighter.

When officers arrived on the scene, both men were gone, but investigators took a complaint from a witness.

On Monday afternoon, officials said Brauley Delarosa, a 27-year-old off-duty firefighter, was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and aggravated unlicensed operator.

"He was very, very angry," said witness Liz Gonzales. "He was flailing, and he was very, very upset."

Gonzales told CBS2's Reena Roy the driver was raging mad, and nearly hit her in the crosswalk near 24th Street moments before nearly hitting the cyclist, which is when the confrontation began.

"I'm not sure if the cyclist took a picture of the vehicle or the license plate but he was showing the driver his phone," Gonzales said. "After speaking to the cyclist I learned the reason he was not moving when the car was basically running him over is because the driver actually had possession of his phone."

Gonzales said things then escalated, with the driver then pushing the vehicle into the man. Moments later, video shows a traffic agent returning the phone to the cyclist.

"It's very clear in the video he gets the phone from the driver and the driver drives off," Gonzales said. "For me it is a matter of right and wrong, and from where I stand, it is wrong  to run somebody over with your vehicle."

City officials said they want him to be held accountable.

"There is no excuse for the behavior of that driver. It was a clearly intentional act," Marco Conner, of Transportation Alternatives, told CBS2.

Web Extra: City Officials, Advocates Demand Action In Wake Of Viral Confrontation

City Council members are pushing for right-of-way street cameras at intersections, saying they would've been able to show what sparked the incident and who was at fault.

"Just like speed safety cameras and red light cameras," said Conner. "Through laser technology, would detect when a driver fails to yield, and then the owner of that vehicle would receive a modest ticket in the mail sometime later."

CBS2's Natalie Duddridge found opinions were mixed on whether the new technology would help.

"It's an effective way to catch drivers who are breaking the law," cyclist Jeremy Sherber said.

"I don't think it's a good idea to put more cameras," said driver Marie Louissant. "The cameras - it's a lot of problems."

Monday's rally for safer streets was held around 1 p.m. at City Hall.


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