LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) – Police are on the hunt for a suspect who impersonated a police officer and threatened a man with a gun, forcing the victim to withdraw hundreds of dollars from an ATM on the Lower East Side last weekend.
The bizarre and terrifying ordeal began around 12:30 a.m. on March 19. The 23-year-old victim was behind the wheel of a car on Ludlow Street, between Rivington and Stanton streets, when the suspect swung his vehicle door open and hit the victim’s car, police said. The suspect, described as a man in his 30s, became angry, struck the hood of the victim’s car and claimed the victim had hit his vehicle, according to the NYPD.
The victim tried to exchange information to file a police report, but the suspect wouldn’t give his information, then he claimed he was a police officer, threatened the victim and demanded money, authorities said. Fearing for his life, the victim got in his car and drove off but the suspect followed him to the intersection of Delancey and Chrystie streets, police said.
The suspect pulled out a gun and demanded money again, according to the NYPD. The victim then got out of his car and went to an ATM, where he withdrew $200 and gave it to the suspect, authorities said.
The suspect ran off, heading north on First Avenue. The victim was not injured during the harrowing ordeal.
Police on Friday released surveillance images of the suspect and his vehicle. No arrests had been made, as of Saturday morning.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).