A manhunt is currently underway for a 56-year-old North Carolina man who eluded several traffic stops, crashed into an outdoor dining structure, and injured an NYPD officer in a series of events that unfolded on Wednesday night.
Earlier in the evening, the suspect was involved in an altercation with another individual and subsequently asked an employee at a nearby establishment for permission to use the restroom. The man then exited through the back door, setting off the chaotic series of incidents.
Authorities initially pulled over the driver on West 39th Street and 7th Avenue for an improper lane change. Upon inspection, officers found that the Cadillac sedan had temporary Michigan license plates. The driver then presented fraudulent motor vehicle documents. When asked to step out of the car for further questioning, the suspect fled the scene.
With little regard for the safety of others, the driver sped away, striking a fire hydrant on Park Avenue. Miraculously, a woman with a walker narrowly escaped injury as the speeding vehicle barely missed her.
The Cadillac was subsequently located on Madison Avenue and E. 30th Street, where officers attempted to stop the driver once more. In his attempt to escape, the driver hit an officer and plowed through an outdoor dining structure. Volkan Muti, the restaurant owner, revealed that he was just about to seat a group of customers at the dining area moments before the incident occurred.
Due to the damage, the $20,000 outdoor dining structure is now out of commission. Witness Gustavo Marquez captured footage of the crash and posted it on Instagram, highlighting the dangerous and erratic behavior of the suspect.
Despite multiple attempts to apprehend the driver, he fled the scene for a third time, eventually colliding with another vehicle. The suspect then abandoned his car and managed to evade capture.
The injured NYPD officer was taken to Bellevue Hospital with a head wound, where he received six stitches and was subsequently released. As of now, no arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.