A chaotic scene unfolded in Midtown on Tuesday evening, after a driver who reportedly stole a vehicle plowed into pedestrians near Grand Central Station, injuring 10. The perpetrator was then apprehended by New Yorkers where the careening vehicle came to a halt, police said.
According to Patrol Borough Manhattan South Deputy Chief James Kehoe, a 20-year-old man stole a Hyundai Tucson over the weekend in the Bronx, and police spotted the vehicle at around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with out-of-state plates on 45th Street and 2nd Avenue.
“Officers followed the vehicle while attempting to verify the vehicle alert on their department phone was accurate. At approximately 3rd Avenue and 43rd Street the officers turned on their turret lights and attempted to stop the vehicle,” Chief Kehoe said.
Kehoe said the driver at first appeared to pull over before then continuing on to Lexington Avenue where between 43rd and 42nd Streets he hit a cyclist before then colliding with a yellow cab. The chaos didn’t end there, however. The driver hopped the curb with his vehicle, mowing down several pedestrians in the process. He then made a U-turn, drove the wrong way on Lexington Avenue before the mayhem at last concluded after he rammed into a black Toyota.
While civilians in the area reportedly detained the driver until officers made it to the scene to make an arrest, a female passenger apparently made a getaway on foot and is currently on the lam from the NYPD.
While 10 people were injured, two refused treatment and eight were rushed to Bellevue Hospital. Police sources said five females and five males were among those hurt, including children, ages ranging from 6 to 10-years-old, to seniors as old as 72. All of those involved are expected to survive.
Sources with knowledge of the investigation revealed that the driver is from Manhattan and is known to police after having been arrested in the past on gun and drug charges. Furthermore, according to those sources, the 20-year-old does not have a driver’s license and was found in possession of what is believed to be a large container of marijuana. He is being tested for suspected DWI.
The perpetrator is currently being held in the 17th precinct.
Several hours after the incident, investigators could be seen dusting the vehicle for prints and removing evidence. Sources also say the image of the female who fled has been transmitted to officers’ cell phones. Her relationship to the driver is currently unclear.