Uber Driver Dies After Being Hit in the Head With Hockey Stick by Pedestrian During Dispute

Daniela Hoffmann, 46, of Weehawken, N.J., placed flowers at the intersection of the West Side Highway and 20th Street in Manhattan, where the police say Randolph Tolk, an Uber driver, was struck by a pedestrian wielding a hockey stick on Saturday night.
Dave Sanders for The New York Times

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.

The driver, Randolph Tolk, 68, died early Sunday, shortly after the altercation near Chelsea Piers. About 14 hours later, the police arrested Kohji Kosugi, 39, of Manhattan, on a manslaughter charge in the attack.

Mr. 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. Mr. Tolk had been expected to visit Las Vegas next month for a Jewish naming ceremony for Andrew’s 1-month-old daughter.

“I’m numb,” he said from his home in Las Vegas. “I just can’t understand how a person my age whacks a 68-year-old man with a hockey stick continuously.”

According to the police, Mr. Tolk got out of his Toyota Camry on the West Side Highway at West 20th Street late Saturday night, after a pedestrian approached the passenger side of the car and hit it with a hockey stick.

The altercation then got physical, the police said, as the pedestrian crossed to the driver’s side of the vehicle, hit Mr. Tolk in the head with the hockey stick, and continued hitting him after he fell to the ground.

Mr. Tolk managed to get back into his car and continued driving downtown for 10 blocks before crashing into a median on the highway at Horatio Street around midnight, according to the police. A man who saw the altercation followed Mr. Tolk until he crashed and called 911.

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SOURCE: New York Times, Ashley Southall