Yesterday evening in Midtown Manhattan, two pedestrian women were hit by two men in a Gristede’s (supermarket chain) van as the women were heading home from their jobs at Israel Berger Associates, an architecture firm. One of the women was killed and the other woman is in serious condition at a hospital. The men were taking away in handcuffs by police officers.
The New York Times has a detailed description of the tragedy. What caught my eye was this paragraph, almost hidden within the full article text:
“There were two men in the front seat, a driver and passenger, and the passenger was leaning out the window and yelling at and harassing the women, Mr. Contreras said, citing his coworker’s account. All of a sudden, he said, the van shot up suddenly onto the curb.”
Street harassment. Nothing more is mentioned about the harassment or why the men’s van “suddenly” went up on the curb. I guess we are to assume they were distracted by harassing the women and weren’t paying attention and suddenly they ran them over? The article didn’t seem to imply that hitting them was intentional, though I have read a news story about a young woman in Florida who was intentionally hit by a car because she refused to talk to the man driving along beside her, harassing her. Both incidents are horrible.
An innocent woman and her future child (she was pregnant) are dead and her friend is in critical condition simply because they were female on a street (using the logic that the men were harassing them as females and they wouldn’t have run them over had they not been harassing them). Street harassment must stop!
Update: The driver of the van has been charged with [wo]manslaughter and assault.