Driver Rejects Plea Offer in Lap Around Manhattan

NEW YORK (AP) -

A driver facing criminal charges over a 24-minute lap around Manhattan told police he was a “car fanatic” who wanted to break unofficial records for circling the island, but he said that the viral video of the stunt made it appear he was driving faster than he was.

Adam Tang, 32, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to reckless endangerment, rebuffing a plea offer that would entail two months in jail — and tried unsuccessfully to get his driver’s license back.

Tang said he sped up the “kind of boring” original footage to fit it to music. “I believe that I did the run safely. I drove at a high rate of speed, but I was not driving recklessly,” he said.

A day trader, Tang was arrested after a dashcam showed his sports car making a 26.4-mile loop around Manhattan in 24 minutes and 7 seconds. The six-minute clip drew hundreds of thousands of online views.

Tang acknowledged seeing other drivers hit their brakes when they saw him coming, but he said he stopped for several red lights and never cut off any other motorists. He said he’d done the loop before at the same speed, just without a camera.

Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Mary Weisgerber said she would OK a 60-day jail sentence and 15 days of community service if Tang pleaded guilty. But Tang said that, as a Canadian, he wants to avoid acquiring any criminal record because of possible immigration complications.