Home / World / Cop-impersonating pol’s 2005 SUV wreck left elderly woman in coma

Cop-impersonating pol’s 2005 SUV wreck left elderly woman in coma


State Sen. Marty Golden’s driving has taken a toll — on his wallet.


The Bay Ridge pol — who was accused this week of pretending to be a cop during a traffic dust-up with a bicyclist — paid $750,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the estate of a Brooklyn pedestrian whom he hit with his SUV in 2005.


The crash left the pedestrian, Hariklia Zafiropoulos, in a coma for weeks. The 74-year-old retired seamstress died six months later, having remained in the hospital the entire time because her condition continued to deteriorate.


While the NYPD didn’t charge Golden in the crash, the administrator of Zafiropoulos’ estate filed a lawsuit in 2008 that accused the Republican senator of negligence and recklessness.


The law firm repping the estate investigated and conducted depositions before agreeing to a mediator, who helped hash out the high six-figure deal in 2010, court records show.


“After lengthy negotiations, a final offer to settle the decedent’s claims for the sum of $750,000 was made,” Anthony Xanthakis, a lawyer for the estate, said in a filing.


Vicki Rekoutis, Zafiropoulos’ relative and the administrator for her estate, said in a court filing that she agreed to the amount because there were allegations that the 74-year-old was crossing the street against the light when Golden struck her.


Rekoutis declined to comment for this story.


“It’s over and done with,” she said. “I don’t want to get into this anymore.”


Golden was accused of being a demon behind the dashboard this week after crossing paths with bicyclist Brian Howald on Monday night in Sunset Park.

Golden impersonated a cop and threatened to haul a bicycle rider into a precinct while his own driver ran several red lights and drove into oncoming traffic, the cyclist said Tuesday.

(@bdhowald/Twitter)


Howald, 30, said Golden’s Cadillac SUV came up on him in the bike lane on Third Ave., and the senator — sitting shotgun — told him to move. Golden also claimed to be a cop and threatened to haul him to the local precinct, Howald said.


When Howald took out his camera to snap photos, Golden’s driver hightailed it through red lights to get away.


The SUV — which is reportedly Golden’s personal car — has 33 violations, including for speeding in a school zone and running red lights.


Golden disputed Howald’s account on Twitter Wednesday, saying he never identified himself as an NYPD officer.


“By taking personal responsibility for the policing of traffic, Mr. Howald unnecessarily escalated this situation and created an unsafe environment for all involved including himself,” the senator tweeted. “In a review of Mr. Howald’s social media, it is evident that this is not the first time he has aggressively engaged a motorist on a New York City street.”


John Quaglione, a spokesman for Golden, did not respond to a request for comment for this story but at the time of the crash he called it a “terrible accident.”


Howald said he knew nothing about the 2005 collision but believes the city should devote more resources to investigating traffic injuries.


“I think the most important point is that those killed in traffic crashes don’t have the ability to speak for themselves,” he said. “It’s important to investigate these crashes so we know what did happen. There needs to be more resources directed at doing this given the very high number of traffic injuries in the city each year.”

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