Most people think of a car accident as simply that, an accident. But is there ever an instance where a motorist intentionally tries to hit another driver or pedestrian? That may be the case in a recent dispute involving a prominent sports apparel CEO and the man who claims the executive intentionally hit him with his vehicle.
In May, 2022, Daniel Parisi was outside Oliver’s Restaurant, a popular dining establishment in North Buffalo, when he got out of his vehicle to talk to New Era CEO Christopher Koch, who was eating there with Parisi’s ex-wife. Parisi claims that Koch intentionally tried to run him over with his black SUV while driving out of the parking lot. Parisi said the altercation left him with a broken hand and a back injury.
Parisi initially pressed criminal charges
Shortly after the incident, Parisi filed criminal charges against Koch when the Erie County District Attorney’s Office charged Koch with first-degree reckless endangerment. However, according to local news outlet WGRZ, the DA reduced the felony charge to a misdemeanor; a judge ultimately dropped it. Koch’s attorneys allegedly convinced the judge that Parisi was trying to cut him off while exiting the restaurant parking lot.
Parisi is now pursuing a personal injury claim in civil court.
Security footage could be critical evidence in civil trial
While the judge allegedly believed Koch was trying to escape an unpleasant situation, security camera footage from the restaurant tells a different story. In the footage, you can see Parisi getting out of his car and walking toward Koch’s vehicle. Then, you see the black SUV turn its wheels to the left and drive directly towards Parisi, aggressively pushing him into the street with its bumper and smashing into the front right side of Parisi’s vehicle.
Despite what appears to be a clear intention to hit Parisi, police bodycam footage shows Koch telling authorities Parisi tried to cut him off as he was pulling out of the parking lot.
Injury victims can find different paths to justice
Mr. Parisi is lucky that his injuries weren’t any more severe than they were. Still, the incident could leave him with lasting physical and psychological wounds. Others like Parisi, who another individual intentionally hurt, shouldn’t lose hope if a criminal court drops their case. Filing a civil personal injury claim may allow injury victims to seek compensation to cover time away from work and medical expenses necessary for their recovery.