A fleeing driver put police and civilians in danger when he sped through the Holland Tunnel from Manhattan to Jersey City and back again, nearly mowing down several officers who had to break the front windows to get at him, authorities said Wednesday.
At different points during the pursuit, the driver moved forward and in reverse, trying to maneuver his way past other vehicles in traffic – and hitting at least two of them -- before he was finally captured, video shows.
An NYPD traffic agent told Port Authority Police Officer John Lizares that the motorist – who’d been driving erratically -- ignored his efforts to stop his Mercedes Benz Tuesday afternoon on the Manhattan side of the Holland Tunnel, said Lenis Rodrigues, a spokesperson for the PAPD.
LIzares then tried to stop the vehicle, but “the driver disregarded his instructions and drove into the tunnel,” she said.
Officer Douglas Jennings, who was in a PAPD vehicle, also tried to stop him, but the driver – identified as Deleon Hutchinson, 24, of Sayreville – kept going.
Waiting on the other side were PAPD Sgt. Frank Andrews and Officer Nicholas Tridente.
They tried to get Hutchinson to stop, but he drove straight at Andres, forcing him to leap out of the way, Rodrigues said.
From there, she said:
Hutchinson sped west on 14th Street and made an illegal left turn onto Marin Boulevard, with both officers now chasing him.
He then made an illegal turn onto 12th Street, blew through the toll plaza and headed back toward Manhattan.
Jennings, now on foot, broke the window of the passenger’s side of the vehicle in attempt to get at Hutchinson – but he “continued to drive erratically in the direction of responding officers.”
O’Neil then hit the driver’s side window with his gun, which accidently discharged, Rodrigues said.
No one was injured by the gunfire and Hutchinson was quickly taken into custody, ending a nearly half-hour-long pursuit.
The arrest was captured on video: instagram.com/freshasthedayshewasborn/
Hutchinson was charged with aggravated assault, assaulting police, obstruction, fleeing, eluding, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment, among other offenses that included false impersonation and driving without a valid license, Rodrigues said.
The officers involved sustained minor injuries, she said.
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