Thursday, July 24, 2008

Political columnist Robert Novak received a $50 citation Wednesday morning for striking a pedestrian with his sports car in downtown Washington, the Metro- politan Police Department said.

The accident occurred at about 10 a.m. at the corner of 18th and K streets in Northwest.

Mr. Novak, 77, continued driving his black Chevrolet Corvette convertible north on K Street, apparently unaware of the accident until being stopped by other pedestrians.

“I didn’t know I hit him,” Mr. Novak told reporters. “I really didn’t have any idea until they flagged me down and told me.”

The veteran political commentator said he was on his way to work when a bicyclist stopped him about a block away.

The cyclist, David Bono, a partner at the Harkins Cunningham law firm, said he told Mr. Novak that he “couldn’t just hit people and drive away.”

Mr. Bono said he was approaching 18th Street from K when he saw the convertible strike a man in the crosswalk.

“The light in the crosswalk clearly said, ‘Walk,’ but the convertible plowed into the guy,” Mr. Bono said. “The man who was hit was splayed on the hood of the convertible before rolling off the windshield as the car turned right around the corner.”

Mr. Bono said he chased the convertible for about a block before catching up and blocking Mr. Novak’s path.

“He was trying to get around me,” Mr. Bono said.

He also said Mr. Novak told him: “I didn’t see him there.”

As traffic backed up and authorities were called, Mr. Novak pulled over and waited for police amid the crowds of pedestrians and traffic that had gathered.

The citation was for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

D.C. fire and emergency services spokesman Alan Etter said the 66-year-old male victim was taken to George Washington University Hospital for observation of “very minor injuries.”

Mr. Novak said after receiving the ticket that he didn’t know the condition of the pedestrian, but was relieved to know he was alive.

Mr. Novak has been a commentator and columnist in Washington for 50 years, including appearing on the now-defunct CNN programs “Crossfire” and “The Capital Gang” and now a frequent commentator on the Fox News Channel.

In 2001, he cursed at a pedestrian on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th Street Northwest for purportedly jaywalking, according to an item in The Washington Post´s Reliable Source column.

Mr. Novak explained in the paper: “He was crossing on the red light. I really hate jaywalkers. I despise them. Since I don’t run the country, all I can do is yell at ‘em. The other option is to run ‘em over, but as a compassionate conservative, I would never do that.”

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