Yesterday, a 20-year-old man driving a stolen car was speeding away from police through Manhattan, managing to hit three other cars and at least 10 pedestrians before being tackled by New Yorkers when trying to flee the stolen vehicle.
Police attempted to stop the stolen red Hyundai SUV at the intersection of Third Avenue and 43rd Street yesterday evening near 5:30 PM. Upon police trying to stop the stolen vehicle, Deputy Chief James Kehoe said that the driver “started to pull over,” then quickly changed his mind and hit the gas. Due to the heavy rush hour traffic, the officers had to pursue the stolen car “at a lower rate of speed.”
The stolen SUV avoiding police turned onto Lexington Avenue, where they hit another vehicle near 43rd Street. They then continued down the street, hitting a taxi cab and driving onto the sidewalk, hitting numerous pedestrians. At the busy intersection of 42nd Avenue, the driver made a U-turn and began driving down the one-way Lexington Avenue in the wrong direction, hitting even more people.
Finally, the stolen SUV crashed into a black sedan head-on, putting an end to the car chase. This is when the driver of the stolen vehicle jumped out of the SUV and began running away from the police on foot. There is footage from the streets of Manhattan showing the man trying to run through the heavy foot traffic around him and ultimately being tackled by surrounding New Yorkers.
The civilians kept the man detained until the police got to their location and were able to put him in custody. According to a witness, Michael Discioarro, the driver of the stolen vehicle “was trying to fight with the cops — trying to push the cops away” as they were taking him into custody. Law enforcement sources say that there was also a female perpetrator that fled and was not caught. The stolen SUV had a zip-lock baggie with a green, left substance inside and drug paraphernalia. The driver has not been identified to the public, but it is known that he does not have a New York license and he has several previous arrests, including gun charges and narcotics charges.
Discioarro is an attorney that was walking from Grand Central Station just as the car chase became brutal. He witnessed the stolen vehicle hit pedestrian after pedestrian; he told reporters “it was crazy, it was horrific.” He went on to detail the gory incident, saying that one victim “on the ground was seriously injured. A lot of blood. . . Another victim was laid up against the door of a store. She was clearly hurt . . . Her leg was twisted in a way you shouldn’t twist a leg.” Discioarro reported that despite the
overwhelming situation around them, bystanders immediately came to the aid of the victims.
At least 10 people were injured throughout the car chase; fortunately, the NYPD announced that none of the injuries were life-threatening. The youngest victims were 6 and 10 years old, while the oldest is 72 years old. Most of the victims only suffered minor injuries, including abrasions, neck and back pain, while some were worse off with broken bones.
The driver of the stolen vehicle is still currently in police custody.