A New Jersey man, Mohamed Alaouie, has been indicted on multiple charges, including assault, aggravated vehicular assault, and reckless endangerment, after he allegedly injured nine people by recklessly driving through crowded midtown Manhattan sidewalks and streets about an hour after the New Year’s Eve ball drop. The incident occurred when Alaouie and his girlfriend were sitting in her car at the corner of West 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue. A bystander informed a police officer that Alaouie was assaulting a woman inside the vehicle.
Upon instruction from the police officer to put his car in park, Alaouie reversed the car and drove onto the sidewalk of West 33rd Street, hitting one pedestrian. He then reentered the roadway, turned north onto Seventh Avenue (which runs southbound), drove one block against traffic, and turned onto West 34th Street while several police officers pursued the car on foot.
In the ensuing chaos, Alaouie got stuck in traffic on West 34th Street, ramming into cars in front of and behind him. He accelerated, struck a food cart on the sidewalk, pinning three pedestrians underneath. Alaouie drove onto the sidewalk, sped westbound on 34th Street, crossed Eighth Avenue, and eventually returned to the roadway, hitting several other cars, injuring three people, and one police officer who was chasing him.
The car broke down after crashing into another vehicle, allowing officers to arrest Alaouie. Sixteen glassines of cocaine were recovered at the scene, and two more were found in his pants the next day at the hospital. Victims suffered various injuries, including concussions, constant pain, and the need for physical therapy to walk without assistance. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., emphasized Alaouie’s alleged recklessness and the danger he posed to countless New Yorkers during the busy New Year’s celebration.