Howard Beach Driver Sues Lawyers for Libel

Associated Press

The driver of the car that struck and killed a black man fleeing from white youths in Howard Beach has sued for libel two black lawyers who accused him of being part of the group, it was reported Friday.

Dominic Blum asked for $20 million, charging that lawyers C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox had slandered and libeled him by claiming that he was one of the attackers that caused the death of 23-year-old Michael Griffith, the Daily News said, quoting court documents.

Griffith died when he ran onto the Belt Parkway after being chased by the group of whites. Police said Blum had nothing to do with the attack.

On Monday, three teen-agers were convicted of manslaughter in Griffith’s death.


Immediately after the Dec. 20, 1986, incident, the two lawyers demanded that police arrest Blum, saying their clients--the other blacks involved in the incident--would not cooperate with police until he was detained.