An Uber driver who had been struck in the head with a hockey stick during a road-rage fight with a man in Chelsea kept driving after the attack, eventually crashing blocks later and dying in his car, according to police.
The NYPD said Sunday evening they arrested 39-year-old Kohji Kosugi and charged him with manslaughter. He was walked from the 10th Precinct, his head covered by a hood.
Kosugi got into a fight with the driver, 68-year-old Randolph Tolk, on West 20th Street around midnight Saturday night, according to police. Kosugi allegedly hit Tolk's car and then struck him in the head with a hockey stick after Tolk overshot the crosswalk near Chelsea Piers, police said.
Jose Viloria, a member of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, came to Tolk's defense at a press conference Sunday.
"He was hit in the head, he fell to the ground, the guy put his foot on his chest, held him on the ground," Viloria said. "The attacker is a coward and should be in jail — beating an elderly man with a hockey stick is unforgivable."
After the fight, Tolk got in his car and drove away until he crashed into a center divider at West and Horatio streets in the West Village, police said. He was taken to Lenox Healthplex Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Medical Examiner will determine whether it was the beating or the crash that killed Tolk.
Tolk lived in West New York, New Jersey. He had a license with the Taxi and Limousine Commission and was working for Uber at the time, according to the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers.
It wasn't immediately known if Kosugi had an attorney who could comment on the case.