A grand jury indicted the alleged wrong-way driver behind a Midtown New Year’s Day rampage that injured nine people, the Manhattan DA’s office announced Tuesday.
Mohamed Alaouie, 44, is accused of speeding the wrong-way in the area of West 34th Street and Seventh Avenue early on the morning of Jan. 1, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Movie actress Carrie Bernans was among those injured when the food cart fell upon her while Alaouie’s girlfriend was injured when she dove away from the moving car in order to escape her boyfriend during the rampage.
Court documents indicated that the rampage began when Alaouie was allegedly seen attacking his girlfriend inside of his Black Mercedes at around 1:30 a.m. on West 33rd Street when police attempted to intervene.
While trying to escape, prosecutors said, Alaouie allegedly reversed his car onto the bustling sidewalk, striking one person. He then zoomed back onto the roadway and turned north on Seventh Avenue.
Cops chased the Mercedes on foot as the driver hurtled against traffic for about a block before he turned on West 34th Street and rammed into several cars. But the chaos didn’t end there.
Court documents and testimony alleges that Alaouie accelerated and rammed into a food cart which subsequently struck three pedestrians, two of whom were pinned beneath it. In his continued effort to escape, Alaouie darted Westbound on 34th Street, crossing Eighth Avenue and eventually returning to the roadway.
Here Alaouie again hit several more vehicles and injured three more individuals, including a police officer who was trying to apprehend him on foot before he was at last cuffed and taken into custody.
“This defendant allegedly careened through packed sidewalks and streets during the busiest time of the year in Midtown. His recklessness endangered the lives of countless New Yorkers and visitors who were ringing in the New Year,” Bragg said. “I hope the victims can fully recover from their injuries and thank the police officers who were on the scene to apprehend this individual.”
A whooping sixteen vials of cocaine were recovered at the scene while two were found in his pants the next day at the hospital, court documents showed.
Alaouie was slapped with a slew of charges including vehicular assault, assault in the first degree, aggravated vehicular assault, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and more.