An Uber driver who was attacked with a hockey stick by a pedestrian over the weekend died early Sunday from his injuries, the NYPD said.
Randolph Tolk of West New York, New Jersey, got into an altercation with Kohji Kosugi, 39, of Manhattan late Saturday night in the vicinity of Chelsea Piers.
According to police, Kosugi hit the 68-year-old Tolk’s 2010 Toyota Camry with his hockey stick after the vehicle nearly struck him while he was in the crosswalk. The incident turned physical after Tolk exited his vehicle, and Kosugi hit Tolk in the head with the hockey stick. Kosugi continued striking Tolk after the driver fell to the ground, The New York Times reported.
Kosugi fled, and Tolk got back in his Camry and drove 10 blocks sound on the West Side Highway before he crashed into a median around midnight, police said.
An eyewitness to the dispute had followed Tolk until he crashed and called 911. Tolk was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:40 a.m.
Kosugi was arrested on manslaughter charges at his East 10th Street home Sunday afternoon after police investigators identified him from surveillance video at Chelsea Piers, which has a hockey rink, and obtained his name and address from the facility.
In a statement, Uber said Tolk worked for the ride-hailing service for years, but had not been logged in at the time of the attack.
Tolk’s son, Andrew, 31, told the Times that his father was born in Brooklyn and previously worked in the garment industry. He said their family lost their home in West New York in 2010, and he turned to Uber for work.
His wife had moved to Las Vegas to be near their two sons and grandchildren, where Tolk had hoped to move as well. Though his main address was in West New York, Tolk resided in Brooklyn, Andrew said.
“I’m numb,” he said of the attack. “I just can’t understand how a person my age whacks a 68-year-old man with a hockey stick continuously.”