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Motorist Who Lapped Manhattan Pleads Not Guilty To Reckless Driving

Says he puts "a lot of esteem" into his fast-paced driving skills

A driver who took a quick spin around Manhattan and told police he was a "car fanatic" who wanted to break unofficial records for circling the island pleaded not guilty to reckless driving charges, according to court documents released Tuesday.

Adam Tang, 32, rebuffed 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 of the roughly 24-minute trip to fit it to music, according to a police account of his statements after his Sept. 5 arrest. Touting himself as a well-trained driver, he insisted he drove conscientiously in the late-August joyride.

Tang, who uploaded the video under the username 'AfroDuck,' claimed he never went faster than 100 miles per hour and ran only one red light at a pedestrian crosswalk, according to the criminal complaint. That still means Tang averaged about 60 mph in his 2006 BMW Z4 on roads with posted speeds of 30 mph in some cases. He also tailgated drivers.

"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."

Manhattan assistant district attorney Mary Weisgerber offered Tang a 60-day jail sentence and 15 days of community service in exchange for a guilty plea to multiple counts of reckless driving. Tang's lawyer, Gregory Gomez, said there was no proof Tang acted recklessly.

Gomez and Tang may have a long way to go to prove his driving was not reckless. After telling officials he drives fast all the time, Tang then tried to have his driver's license reinstated, which has been suspended since the video went viral. Manhattan state supreme court justice Jill Konviser declined.

"The conduct, if true, it's extremely dangerous," she said.

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