Suspect Apprehended After Being Shot, Injuring Cops During BMW Chase In Westchester

One of two suspects has been arrested following Thursday’s manhunt in Westchester when a police officer was struck and dragged by a man in a stolen BMW as he attempted to escape.

A Mount Vernon police officer was dragged for approximately a block near the Mount Vernon-Bronx border.
A Mount Vernon police officer was dragged for approximately a block near the Mount Vernon-Bronx border. Photo Credit: Google Maps

Mount Vernon resident Howard Rowlett, 24, was arrested following Thursday’s manhunt when he sought medical treatment in Fairfield County for a gunshot wound he suffered during the incident. Members of the Stamford Police Department alerted investigators in Mount Vernon, and Rowlett was arrested at Stamford Hospital Thursday night.

The incident began at approximately 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, as detectives from the Mount Vernon Police Department investigated a report of a stolen vehicle that was involved in striking a Westchester County Police car earlier in the day during an attempted traffic stop.

Police said that the stolen vehicle, with Pennsylvania license plates, was found near the Mount Vernon-Bronx border.

While staking out the BMW, officers saw Rowlett and another suspect approach the car. When the officers attempted to make contact with the suspects, the driver attempted to flee, driving into one of the officers who was dragged for approximately a block.

The driver quickly crashed into a parked car and the suspects fled on foot. During the chase, a Mount Vernon police officer fired his weapon, which struck Rowlett in his arm and back. Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said local police are in the process of having Rowlett extradited to Mount Vernon when he is released. A second female suspect is still on the loose.

Two Mount Vernon police officers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Shawn Harris said “the arrest was the result of great cooperation and coordination among all the agencies involved – the NYPD, Westchester County Police Department, Stamford Police Department, and the Mount Vernon Police Department.

“Fighting crime is a team effort and I want to thank all our partners for sharing resources and working collaboratively.”

Rowlett was arrested and charged with first-degree attempted assault of a police officer. He's currently being held on $500,000 bond. No return court date has been announced. 

“The men and women of our police department put their lives on the line every day they go to work,” he said. “Blessedly, our two officers are ok,” Thomas stated. “On behalf of all the residents of Mount Vernon, I want to thank all the members of law enforcement, as well as the staff of Stamford Hospital for their efforts. You keep us safe and we greatly appreciate it.”

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