New York — An Uber driver crashed his vehicle and died over the weekend after he was hit in the head with a hockey stick by a pedestrian during a dispute in Manhattan, the police said.
Randolph Tolk, 68, died early Sunday, shortly after the altercation near Chelsea Piers. About 14 hours later, police arrested Kohji Kosugi, 39, of Manhattan, on a manslaughter charge in the attack.
Tolk’s son Andrew, 31, said his family was “stunned” by the death of its patriarch, who had talked of moving to Las Vegas to be closer to his wife, Barbara, their two sons and three grandchildren.
According to the police, Tolk got out of his Toyota Camry on the West Side Highway at West 20th Street late Saturday after a pedestrian hit the passenger side of the car with a hockey stick.
The altercation then got physical, police said, as the pedestrian crossed to the driver’s side of the vehicle, hit Tolk in the head with the hockey stick, and continued hitting him after he fell.
Tolk managed to get back into his car and drive for 10 blocks before crashing into a median on the highway at Horatio Street around midnight, according to police. A man who saw the altercation followed Tolk until he crashed and called 911.
Tolk was pronounced dead at 12:40 a.m. at Lenox Hill Hospital.
The police have not revealed a motive, but a spokesperson said the pedestrian appeared to be upset after Tolk nearly struck him in the crosswalk.
Kosugi was arrested at his home on East 10th Street in Greenwich Village after investigators used video to determine that he had been at Chelsea Piers before the attack. They were able to obtain his name and address from the venue, which has an ice hockey rink.
Tolk, his son said, was born in Brooklyn and worked in the garment industry for years before it collapsed. The family lost their home in West New York, New Jersey, in 2010, and Tolk stayed behind while his wife moved west to be closer to their sons, Andrew and Prescott, Andrew Tolk said.
The New York Times