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Thursday, November 18, 2021

Keith Wright charges dropped in cyclist ‘dooring’

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Manhattan prosecutors on Wednesday moved to drop charges against the New York Democratic Party boss accused of “dooring” a cyclist and fleeing the scene of the incident over the summer.

Judge Marisol Martinez Alonso dismissed and sealed the case against Keith Wright, who was charged with speeding off after allegedly opening his car door into the path of a cyclist, sending the man flying, on Aug. 26 in Central Harlem.

The bicyclist tumbled to the ground and sustained “bruising to his ankle and substantial pain,” according to a criminal complaint first reported by The Post in September.

After a brief exchange with the victim, Wright, 66, allegedly sped off without providing his name, prosecutors said at his arraignment in September.

In a motion to dismiss on Wednesday, however, Assistant District Attorney Myles Ashong said that prosecutors couldn’t prove the charge of leaving the scene of an incident — because the law only applies when someone is “operating a motor vehicle.”

Operating a vehicle means sitting behind the wheel, for the purpose of placing it in motion, Ashong wrote. But Wright, the current chair of the New York County Democratic Committee, was apparently leaving his BMW to go to a store when he flung open his door.

Ashong noted that while it is illegal in New York to open a car door into the path of a bicyclist, that is a traffic infraction punishable by a ticket, not a criminal offense.

Wright’s attorney, Tony Ricco, didn’t immediately return a request for comment Wednesday night.

Judge Marisol Martinez had the case against Wright dismissed and had his record sealed.
Judge Marisol Martinez had the case against Wright, right, dismissed and had his record sealed.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The lawyer previously said that the bicyclist was riding a “speeding motorized e-bike, one that was operating without a headlight, or taillight on” or a horn, and there was no way for his client to know he was rapidly approaching from behind.

After the incident, Wright remained on the scene for 40 to 45 minutes before leaving, the attorney added.

Cops later tracked down Wright, who spent more than two decades in Albany as a state assemblyman representing Harlem, and questioned him about the incident over the phone on Sept. 8, the complaint said.

“I was about to open my car door while he was riding an electric bike,” Wright allegedly told investigators. “It is his fault for running into my door. I told him to go to the hospital. I did not exchange my information with him. I asked for his information but he did not give it to me.”

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