MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) – MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) – An NYPD officer was injured when a vehicle reversed and sped away during a traffic stop in Manhattan Wednesday, police said.
The incident began when a driver initially fled a traffic stop at West 38th Street and Seventh Avenue around 4:50 p.m., according to the NYPD. The driver was stopped again by police at East 30th Street, between Madison and Park avenues.
However, the driver suddenly reversed and sped away during the traffic stop, hitting an officer in the process. The police officer suffered a head injury and was hospitalized in stable condition, authorities said.
Video of the incident showed the suspect vehicle then speed up on the sidewalk, plow through a dining shed, go over a street sign and drive straight through a fire hydrant. The incident happened near the Mason Jar NYC restaurant on East 30th Street.
“I heard a large rumble, similar to a tornado coming through. About 10 seconds later, that’s when I saw the car just plow through next to the front of the restaurant,” said bartender Patrick Beverly.
Beverly said no one was sitting in the dining shed when the vehicle plowed through it.
“We ran to the back, and we were hiding in the kitchen. We were shaking and we were really scared because I have not been in a situation like that,” said Sam, who was dining at the restaurant.
After hitting the dining shed, the driver sped down East 30th Street, narrowly missing several pedestrians. The driver ditched the vehicle at East 30th Street and Lexington Avenue and fled on foot. It triggered a massive police search in the area, but officers were unable to find the suspect.
“I saw all these policemen gathering and then I videotaped the policemen on the rooftop of that building, going up and down searching for him,” said Veronica, who lives in Manhattan.
A short time later, police announced over their radios that a surveillance camera in the area caught an image of the suspect’s face. The suspect remained at large Wednesday night.