ALBERTA

Adam Tang, Calgary Driver Who Drove Manhattan In 24 Minutes, Flees New York

02/24/2015 04:38 EST | Updated 02/24/2015 04:59 EST

A Calgary driver who is on the lam from New York authorities after posting a video of himself speeding around Manhattan insists he didn't do anything that bad.

Adam Tang, 32, was arrested in 2014 after he posted a dash cam video of himself driving the 42.6-kilometre loop around Manhattan in under 24 minutes in August 2013.

He posted the video anonymously, under the username AfroDuckProduction, but police quickly learned his identity.

Tang has publicly admitted that posting the video online was probably stupid, reports the Calgary Sun, but both he and his lawyer insist the case has become personal for New York justice.

adam tang

(Officers escort Adam Tang to central police booking in New York's Manhattan borough after his arrest last year. AP photo.)

"I have never seen a misdemeanor prosecuted with such intensity and vigor, especially for a person with no prior criminal record," Tang’s attorney Gregory Gomez told The Daily Beast.

"Deterrence is a laudable goal. But, this case became personal and vindictive."

The video shows Tang in some close calls on New York streets, swerving in an out of traffic. Tang claimed he never went over 160 kilometres per hour and ran only one red light, according to the criminal complaint.

"I believe that I did the run safely. I drove at a high rate of speed, but I was not driving recklessly," Tang said, according to the documents. "I am a car fanatic ... I put a lot of esteem into driving."

But, instead of facing his charges in court or accepting a plea deal, Tang fled back to Canada, leaving behind his pregnant American wife in East Harlem, reports the Calgary Sun.

A jury convicted Tang in absentia of reckless endangerment and reckless driving on Dec. 8, reported CBS New York. He did not show up to his sentencing hearing, which passed down a punishment of one year behind bars.

"The city’s roadways are not a racetrack," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement at the time.

"Adam Tang showed blatant disregard for our traffic laws, and this dangerous and illegal behavior — which he repeatedly flaunted online — placed lives at risk," the DA added.

Tang told The Sun he decided to flee the U.S. when he learned authorities would use him as an example for other underground street racers.

For now, his wife has joined him in Canada, and the pair are expecting a child in April.

And while Tang has filed a notice of appeal to contest his guilty verdict and jail sentence, he told The Daily Beast it's unlikely he will ever return to New York.

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