NYC Woman Runs Over Innocent Bystander After Deli Brawl

NYC Runner

A driver was arrested after running down a man with her car outside a Queens deli, killing him — even though he was not the person police said she may have been aiming for.

Police on Monday said that 26-year-old Kiani Phoenix was arrested and faces a slew of charges, including murder, attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and weapons possession. The arrest comes after she allegedly ran over a 59-year-old bystander in a walker following a brawl she got into with another woman at the Rohan Deli on Beach 20th Street in Far Rockaway before 7 a.m. Saturday.

Video from inside the deli appeared to show the two women get into a shouting match before moving outside, where their fight escalates and another video angle captures fists flying on the crowded sidewalk in front of the store.

Punches are thrown and a wig is ripped off, but the violence doesn’t end when the two separate. One of the women, who police believe to be Phoenix, climbs into a black Honda Accord parked along the sidewalk and backs the car a few feet, allegedly in an effort to jump the curb and hit the other woman, NYPD officials said.

Insteadthe woman slams into 59-year-old Milton Storch, who had been sitting on his walker outside the doors of the deli. He was thrown to the ground and his walker was heavily damaged. He was pronounced dead at St. John’s Hospital. Another 37-year-old man had also been taken to the hospital for minor injuries to his back.

Neighbors said Storch was a steady presence in the neighborhood and looked out for others.

“He was really nice, very respectful man, and it’s sad that he had to lose his life like that,” one said.

For more on this story, please consider these sources:

  1. Queens sidewalk feud leads to hit-and-run tragedy that takes life of Far Rockaway man – New York Daily News
  2. Woman Charged With Murder in NYC Brawl Outside Deli That Killed Bystander in Walker – NBC News
John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.