Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak was cited by police after he hit a pedestrian with his black Corvette in downtown Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning.
A Politico reporter saw Novak in the front of a police car with a citation in his hand; a WJLA-TV crew and reporter saw Novak as well. The pedestrian, a male in his 60s, was hospitalized at George Washington University Hospital with minor injuries according to the Metro Fire Department. Novak was later released by police and drove away from the scene.
“I didn’t know I hit him,” Novak told Politico. Novak said he was a block away from 18th and K St. NW, where the accident happened, when a bicyclist stopped him and said, "You hit someone." He said he was cited for failing to yield the right of way.
A concierge at 1700 K Street said that she saw a bicyclist yelling and walked outside to see what the commotion was about.
"This guy hit somebody and he won't stop so I'm going to stay here until the police come," Aleta Petty quoted the unnamed bicyclist as saying, as he stood in K Street, blocking traffic.
A source who saw Novak put in the police car and saw the pedestrian on the ground, motionless, said other witnesses said the biker jumped on Novak's car to stop him.
With Novak stopped, cars began honking behind him, and he finally pulled over to the side of the street.
D.C. police confirmed that there was an accident at 18th and K streets N.W. at approximately 10 a.m. involving a black Corvette convertible and that the driver was a white male. An ambulance was called.
The intersection is in the hub of Washington’s business district and is filled with pedestrians who work in the law firms and lobby shops that line the corridor.
Novak, 77, has earned a reputation around the capital as an aggressive driver, easily identified in his convertible sports car.
In 2001, the longtime political columnist cursed at a pedestrian on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th Street N.W., for allegedly jaywalking.
“’Learn to read the signs, [bodily orifice]!’ Novak snapped before speeding away,” according to an item in The Washington Post’s Reliable Source column.
Novak explained to the paper: "He was crossing on the red light. I really hate jaywalkers. I despise them. Since I don't run the country, all I can do is yell at 'em. The other option is to run 'em over, but as a compassionate conservative, I would never do that."
Two years later, the same column reported that Novak had gone to a racing school in Florida.
"I've wanted to be a race car driver all my life, and anyone who has watched me drive can tell you that,” Novak said.