Monday, November 13, 2017

Report: East Village resident arrested in hockey-stick assault

[Screengrab from CBS 2]

An East Village resident is under arrest after a road-rage dispute turned deadly late Saturday night in Chelsea.

According to the Post, Kohji Kosugi, who was walking, allegedly attacked Uber driver Randolph Tolk, 68, at West 20th Street and 11th Avenue with a hockey stick.

The details, as reported by the Post:

Tolk was driving his Toyota Camry southbound and stopped at the crosswalk when Kosugi, who was on foot, began tapping on its hood with his stick, a witness told police.

They continued arguing until Kosugi used the hockey stick to knock the older man to the ground, then stomped on his chest, cops said.

Tolk, a grandfather of three, got back into the car and headed south, driving about half a mile before crashing into the center divider near Jane Street, cops said.

Paramedics responded and rushed to Lenox Hill Hospital, where Tolk, who lived in West New York, N.J., was pronounced dead.

Kosugi ran away into the Chelsea neighborhood, but was arrested around 2:40 p.m. and charged with manslaughter, cops said.

Kosugi, 39, had been at Chelsea Piers. Police found him by checking surveillance footage there, CBS 2 reported.

Per CBS 2:

Police have not made it clear whether Tolk was killed by the blow to the head, or whether it disoriented him and he died in the crash. The New York City Medical Examiner’s office will determine the cause of his death.

The Post said that Kosugi lived on East 10th Street, where he apparently wasn't too well-known.

A woman who lives next door to Kosugi on East 10th Street ... said: "I've only seen a woman leave that apartment. I’ve never seen him."

"I wasn't sure why the police have been here all day. We don't talk to our neighbors that much," she said.

"It's scary that…he lives next door to me and the cops have been here all day and I had no clue."

Updated 5:30 p.m.

Kosugi appeared in court today.

To the Post:

Defense lawyer David Jeffries argued in court that the alleged attack came only after Tolk got out of his car, and that prosecutors would have a hard time connecting it to Tolk’s death following the crash about half a mile away.

Bail for Kosugi, who works at the Nakamura NYC restaurant on Delancey, was set at $500,000 cash or $750,000 bond.

In a separate story, the Post interviews Kosugi's teammates who he played hockey with at Chelsea Piers.

Kosugi played in back-to-back games, at 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., before Saturday’s fatal incident, the teammate said. He played in two games prior to the altercation. "Kosugi, a center, scored two goals during the first game, in which the Tsunami beat the Wild Turkeys, 5-3."

Meanwhile, the Daily News reported that the victim had his own history with the police.

In January 2012, city marshals were towing Tolk’s car and he refused to get out, police said.

Police arrived and tried to take him out of the car. He took a swing at them, then bit an officer hard enough to draw blood.

He was charged with assault, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. The case is sealed.

Cops busted Tolk again on Oct. 1, 2014 for assault, resisting arrest and menacing as a hate crime. That arrest is also sealed.


Anonymous said...

This subhuman POS should get the max (15 years for Second Degree Manslaughter or 25 years for First Degree Manslaughter) so he's 54 or 64 years old when he gets out of prison.

The grandfather of three's family and friends can lobby to keep this scum in prison for the max by showing up to the parole hearings and writing letters to the parole board urging he serve his entire sentence.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fight that got out of hand and nobody intended for anyone to die. But if you want to act like a thug and hit an old man with a stick, you've got to live with the consequences. He deserves to rot in jail.

Anonymous said...

It is far to soon to judge on this one, and I️ think premised on the age of the victim. If the victim was in his 30s instead of his late 60s, people would be classifying this as a road rage incident that got out of hand and would be questioning why the victim exited his car, and what precipitated the incident in the first place. Doesn’t mean the victim deserved it, or that the perpetrator didn’t commit a crime (manslaughter is likely, hard to say you couldn’t retreat from a 68 year old man), but this isn’t an open and shut case of “thuggery”.

Giovanni said...

This was clearly a case of pedestrian road rage. I have seen many instances in the crosswalks on the West Side, usually between cyclists and are. Everyone in this damn city thinks that they have the right-of-way. If you just slow down a little bit and let the other guy pass there’s never a problem. This also looks like is an open and shut case of an assault that may have led to a mans death. You don’t hit someone in the head with a hockey stick, not even when you are playing hockey. And you don’t then stomp them on the chest when they are on the ground. And if you didn’t do anything wrong, you don’t then run away. I hope they have some surveillance video to show what happened. There are so many hotheads running around out there, even in our beloved East Village.

Anonymous said...

The Times reported that Kosugi was in the cross walk and Tolk, an Uber driver, almost hit him. The way I see this unfolding: Kosugi then tapped on the car with the hockey stick, to let the driver know he almmost hit him, and Tolk immediately jumped out to confront or to see if there was damage to his car. He should have just stayed in his car and drove off instead of getting enraged by the tap.

But Kosugi went a little too far, yes, but we dont know the exchange between them.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. This neanderthal should rot in jail for this merciless and unnecessary attack against an older man, whose life was sadly taken. This has got to be a huge loss for his family. :(

Furthermore, I want to know, what prompted the younger man to do this toward a much older man? Doesn't he have a filtering system? No matter how enraged I would become with someone in perhaps a similar situation, I would take a step back, remove myself from the situation, and take a deep breath. I certainly hope justice prevails for the victim. I also hope this duche bag receives the full and maximum sentence. He won't be able to use that hockey stick where he's going.

Anonymous said...

Regardless, this is an older man, hitting him with a stick is just wrong, and then stomping -
what was that for ? and !
Who goes around stomping on people ?

Sarah said...

"a little too far"

A LITTLE too far? You're comfortable with hitting a 68-year-old man with a stick, but not stomping him when he's down? Or is it vice versa?

JQ LLC said...

No matter who was right in the initial incident, you don't hit a car with an object, I assume it was more than a tap. And you don't strike a person with a hockey stick. People think it looks harmless in a game or in the movie Slaphsot but those things friggin' hurt a lot more when you don't have protective gear and when you're a man pushing 70.

And you certainly don't stomp on a elderly person's chest when he's down on the ground. This prick deserves to rot, and he is definitely suspect because he was looking for surveillance cameras.

Interesting that he is not well known in the area and the building he was dwelling, sounds like he's crashing with someone or maybe on airbnb.

vshaweddy said...

It's still wrong to hit someone unless you are trying to defend yourself. But it looks like the Uber driver has a temper -- he had history attacking cops in 2012 and hate crime in 2014.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it would be wise to withhold judgment pending more information (not that anyone ever does).

"It emerged Monday that the victim had his own history with the police. In January 2012, city marshals were towing Tolk’s car and he refused to get out, police said.

Police arrived and tried to take him out of the car. He took a swing at them, then bit an officer hard enough to draw blood.

He was charged with assault, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest. The case is sealed.

Cops busted Tolk again on Oct. 1, 2014 for assault, resisting arrest and menacing as a hate crime. That arrest is also sealed."

Anonymous said...

Even if the driver was a young man, the pedestrian shouldn't have hit him with a hockey stick. He used it as a weapon. I wouldn't be surprised to hear he has engaged in other violent behavior.

Anonymous said...

If it is true that the driver almost drove into the hockey player. Makes you wonder if the driver ran over and killed the hockey player, if people would demonize the driver.

afbp said...

"everyone thinks they have the right-of-way"---how about--SIMPLY--following the law--pedestrians/bicyclists/cars-trucks....
age does not assuage a person's anger/hate
more often than not---it exacerbates it!
BOTH people are at fault
ps a car (in the hands of an unstable person) is just as lethal as a hockey stick
pps i agree-- let's not lynch the 30 year old (asian man) just yet ........

Giovanni said...

Let’s stop the victim-blaming and stick to the facts in this case. Kosugi is claiming self-defense, but so far there is no evidence that Tolk ever physically attacked him or that Kosugi suffered any injuries. According to Tolk’s son, his father was struck with the hockey stick not once, but multiple times: “I’m numb,” said Tolk’s son, Andrew Tolk, from his home in Las Vegas. “I just can’t understand how a person my age whacks a 68-year-old man with a hockey stick continuously.” Tolk was then allegedly stomped and his ribs were broken. The police have a video and witness statements of the incident. Based on the video and othher evidence, they were able to convince judge to set bail at half million dollars on a manslaughter charge. What we also know is that Kosugi was riding high that night. His team had just won 2 hockey games, and he had scored a pair of goals in one game, which teammates said was one of his best nights ever. Kosugi went from being a hockey hero to an accused killer in a a matter of moments, and Tolk was dead within minutes of the altercation. Life can change that fast, One thing we should all be able to agree on is that this is a tragedy for all concerned.

Anonymous said...

A day does not go by that some black car or cab does not try to intimidate me in the crosswalk to make me stop and let them turn. I have no sympathy for a driver who is sitting comfortably in an air conditioned or nicely heated two-ton car rolling up on a pedestrian. I've almost been hit by traffic enforcement and Dept of Sanitation cars too. Complaints went nowhere. If you don't want to get hit by a guy with a hockey stick, then a) Don't roll up on him and b) Don't get out of the car, drive away.

Anonymous said...

I actually have some empathy for the hockey guy. We were not there, this driver punched a cop hard enough to draw blood. I think with a good lawyer he could get off with something lighter.

Anonymous said...

Not so cut and dry now, is it. Thankful we have due process in this country.

Anonymous said...

Always amazed at the information disclosed about people especially when the "case is sealed". Yet when it is the police involved in some nefarious activities you can't get an iota of information....

Anonymous said...


Jack said...

It’s so scary to read the comments and realize how many old testament style motherf’s live around here.