A Queens man was accused Thursday of driving away after hitting a sanitation worker in Valley Stream — but he says he only "lightly brushed" the man and had no idea he was hurt.
Andy Jean-Pierre, 25, of Queens Village, was driving a Toyota Scion north on South Waldinger Street when he struck the man, a Valley Stream Village employee, at about 9:20 a.m., Nassau police said.
The victim, 29, was treated for an arm and hand injury at a hospital, police said.
After Fifth Precinct detectives investigated, Jean-Pierre was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury, authorities said.
But Jean-Pierre said he was driving toward a garbage truck when a sanitation worker on the sidewalk rushed toward the truck with a garbage can and a bag of trash, rather than wait "two seconds" for him to drive past.
The Scion's side view mirror lightly brushed against the worker and the trash can, which fell to the ground, Jean-Pierre said.
From his rear view mirror, Jean-Pierre said, he could see the worker picking up the trash can and going about his duties.
"He didn't call me, he doesn't signal me, he wasn't even lying on the ground," Jean-Pierre said. "I didn't hit him. Whatever injuries he got, that was not by my car."
Jean-Pierre said he turned himself in after police called him about the incident.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 23, police said.