Okay so the girlfriend and I are taking a leisurely ride around the neighborhood this past Saturday afternoon. We're crossing an intersection, walking our bikes, when a driver weirdly jumps past his stop sign, swerves past her (close, but I wouldn't have said dangerously close -- but then again, I wasn't really paying that much attention; I was just crossing the street), and yells some kind of frustrated obscenity (I heard more of a undifferentiated growl, where my girlfriend, who was obviously more engaged with the man at the time, seems to have thought that there were actual bad words spoken). She jumps on her bike and starts after the (eff)er. I only realize what she's doing seconds later, so, since I enjoy this sort of thing as much as the next guy, I raced after her and caught up by the time she got to the intersection the driver had just rolled through to take a right. We caught up with him at the red light he was waiting at, yelling into his cell phone to someone.
My girlfriend went to his passenger side and I rolled to his left. While she was leaning her head level with his open window to give him a hearty "(eff) you," I saw my clear opportunity to spit right on the guy's face (well, it was turned away, but ...). Since I didn't really feel invested in the conflict (not yet), I didn't spit, I just watched to make sure the exchange of profanity went smoothly. Anyway, lights turn green, so I speed ahead into the intersection. I heard the driver's retort to my girlfriend, an even more forceful, more frustrated "(eff) yooouu!!," and I only glanced back for a half second to make sure he wasn't getting out of the car to beat her up.
What I heard next was the guy revving his engine real fast as he sped into the intersection after me. (Really, I feel I must say at this point that in retrospect I feel like I had almost zero presence-of-mind in this situation.) I began to slow down. Before I had totally stopped, the car's front bumper had hit my rear wheel straight-on, taco-ing it beyond repair but leaving the frame and the rider intact. I didn't even fall.
I can't remember if I pulled myself and my bike out of the maniac's way, or if he had to back up, or if he just swerved around, but he was peeling out faster than I knew what was happening. Honestly, I'm so ******** that my only reaction was to raise my bicycle triumphantly as if this were Critical Mass or something. I guess that was my way of communicating to my girlfriend across the street that I wasn't paralyzed.
So anyways, long story short, we've got me, my girlfriend, two witnesses in a car, and a heroic bike delivery guy who managed to both remember the guy's license plate AND heap some more obscene scorn on him as he sped away. Call cops; decline EMS because I'm fine beyond a little muscle strain; and cops come to fill out forms and tell me to call this number, yada yada. This is what a joke 911 is in this town: the cops essentially helped start me along the arduous bureaucratic process that would eventually lead to my discovering the accident report and complaint report numbers, so that I can pursue whatever action, etc., etc. ...
Aren't the police going to pursue any action? No, there's no proof that the registered owner of the vehicle was the driver. (It doesn't help to point out that my girlfriend could make an identification of the driver.) The form the cops hand me says "leaving the scene of an accident." This seems to me a woefully inadequate characterization of the crime committed here. It seemed more like at least an attempted vehicular assault to me. (Ironically, I'm actually a lawyer, and I just looked it up and it seems like most every criminal assault charge in NY requires "substantial injury" to the victim as an element of the crime.)
So, here's my question: what should I do? I got the accident report and I have the guy's name & address, and I was able to find a phone number to go with it on google. Classmates dot com has a guy by his name that puts him at the right age to match my girlfriend's description of him. Anybody have any experience like this? Would trying to pursue legal action make sense? Any lawyer referrals? Anybody (more creative than me) got any other brilliant ideas?