Saturday, July 01, 2006

A lesson in journalism

[The New York Times version]

A group of people chased and beat the driver of a livery cab and his passenger in Brooklyn yesterday after the driver lost control of his car and swerved into an 8-year-old child on a bike, according to the police and several witnesses.

The driver apparently lost control of the car, at 92nd Street and Clarkson Avenue in East Flatbush, at 5 p.m., because his passenger was trying to rob him, the police said. After hitting the child, the car crashed into a wall, and a group of dozens of bystanders confronted the driver and attacked him.

When the man explained that his passenger had struck him in the head with a metal bar, the crowd then turned to his passenger, beat him, and tightened a belt around his neck, said one witness, Kevin Beckett, 44.

The police arrived and arrested the passenger, Jean Willman, 31, of Newkirk Avenue in Flatbush. He was charged with robbery and assault. The child was taken to Brookdale Hospital Center, where he was in stable condition last night, the police said. The driver, 52, was taken to Kings County Hospital Center in stable condition.

[The New York Post version]

More than a dozen people who witnessed a Brooklyn car crash that injured an 8-year-old boy yesterday helped nab the robber who sent a livery cab careening into traffic, police said.

The witnesses held on to the alleged robber after he tried to flee the wreckage at the intersection of 92nd Street and Clarkson Avenue in Brownsville - after they mistakenly grabbed the bloodied driver and accused him of causing the mayhem.

Jean Willman, 31, hailed the livery car at the intersection of Rutland Road and East 92nd Street at 5:30 p.m.

As he was driven through Brownsville, he pulled the hunk of metal from a jacket sleeve and demanded the driver's money before smacking him in the head.

The car spun out of control, struck a car and jumped a sidewalk before striking the boy, who was treated for neck and face bruises at Brookdale Hospital.

Willman was charged with robbery, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.