Police say a man intentionally threw himself in front of a moving car in Brooklyn in what police believe was a faked accident captured on surveillance video, obtained exclusively by NBC 4 New York.
The driver of the Lexus SUV was traveling near 98th Street and Livonia Avenue in Brooklyn on February 4 when she told NBC 4 New York she saw a shadow appear in front of her.
"I immediately slam on the brakes and then I see a man jump on top of my hood and bounce onto the ground," said the woman who asked to be identified only as Jennifer.
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"I was very horrified. Immediately I was panicking," she said.
Jennifer checked on the man and called 911.
But when she saw the footage of the incident, it became clear to her -- and to police -- that it was staged.
The man was standing in between cars for nearly 30 minutes. Then, with traffic whizzing by in both directions, he leaned out and jumped onto Jennifer's SUV.
"He leaped onto my car," she said. "There is no damage on the grill or the bumper, only on top of the hood."
Police arrested 50-year-old Andre Richardson on charges of reckless endangerment and filing a false report. Richardson has more than 20 arrests on his record, but none for incidents like this one.
Law enforcement sources said they believe Richardson was shopping for a victim and that he intentionally threw himself in front of the car. It's possible he was looking for insurance money, the sources said.
His sister Debora Richardson told NBC 4 New York Friday, "That's not him. He's not like a person trying to profit from it."
Richardson said her brother has never been hit by a car before and she maintains this was an accident, not a crime.
"He was going for the bus because he was going to take care of his business and he said that's just what happened," she said. "It's not like he just threw himself out there."
Jennifer, who has to pay the deductible for the damage to her car, wonders if there are other victims like her.
"I don't want this to happen to anybody else, to go through the stress and horror," she said.