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Long IslandCrime

No charges for ex-NYPD chief in SUV bumping of woman

Former New York Police Commissioner Howard Safir (March

Former New York Police Commissioner Howard Safir (March 23, 1999) Credit: AP File

Former NYPD Commissioner Howard Safir will not face criminal charges for bumping into a pedestrian with his sport utility vehicle on the Upper East Side and driving away, police said.

A published report said the woman, 30, of the Bronx, was nearly seven months pregnant.

A man who identified himself as the woman's husband but asked not to be named said Saturday that the couple will not seek legal action in the Friday incident. "We just want to make sure she's OK, make sure the baby's OK," he said.

Safir bumped the woman with his 2009 Cadillac Escalade while moving the vehicle from a parking spot on Third Avenue between East 80th and East 81st streets, police said. After the woman wrote down a plate number and called 911, police responded at 2:10 p.m. Friday.

"After interviews, it was determined that Mr. Safir didn't realize that he struck the female, and it's been determined there was no criminality involved and this is a civil matter," the NYPD said in a statement Saturday.

The woman, identified in published reports as Joanne Valarezo of the Bronx, told The New York Times a different story. Valarezo said that she and a passenger in the SUV scolded the driver for being careless before he left, the paper reported.

The woman said she did not know who he was until a reporter told her, the Times said. She said her fetus was all right. Police said she was treated for a bruised shoulder. The woman's husband said Saturday that his wife was too tired to comment.

Safir was police commissioner from 1996 to 2000. He also served as fire commissioner.

Calls Saturday to his Maryland home and the New York City office of his security firm, SafirRosetti, were not immediately returned.

With AP

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