There’s one less reckless driver on the streets of New York today thanks to NYPD, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, and Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser.
After Adam Tang posted a video of himself speeding around Manhattan, he was tracked down by NYPD. Tang’s car was taken away, and Vance charged him with reckless driving and second degree reckless endangerment, according to court records.
Under New York State law, “A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the second degree when he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.” In lay terms, reckless endangerment requires proof that a driver was aware of a risk of seriously injuring someone else, says attorney Steve Vaccaro. Speeding was the leading cause of NYC traffic fatalities in 2012.
Second degree reckless endangerment is a class A misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail. According to the Daily News, Tang’s attorney Greg Gomez rejected a plea deal for 60 days in jail and 15 days of community service.
Tang pled not guilty in court today and asked for his license and passport to be returned. But Judge Konviser agreed with ADA Mary Weisgerber that Tang should not be driving.
“He videotaped himself circumnavigating Manhattan at a high rate of speed. He admits doing this,” Weisgerber said.
“He certainly should not have his license back.”
Konviser agreed, noting his “conduct, if true” was “extremely dangerous.”
“I don’t think he should have his passport or his license,” she said.
Gomez argued that charges would probably have been reduced or dismissed “if not for the ‘sensational and exciting video’ that ‘people loved and watched hundreds of thousands of times’” — a video otherwise known as “the evidence.”
“I was exceeding the speed limit although I did not hit 100 miles per hour,” Tang reportedly told police after he was arrested last September. Since a pedestrian hit by a driver traveling at 40 miles per hour has a 15 percent chance of surviving, Tang wouldn’t have to get anywhere close to 100 to pose a deadly risk.
“A jury will find what he did was not reckless,” said Gomez. While it’s certainly possible that a jury will side with his client, Tang’s behavior endangered lives, and NYPD and Vance deserve credit for keeping him off the streets for as long as they can. Huzzah.