Manhattan, NY – It was an eventful morning for members of the NYPD as a routine traffic stop quickly devolved into a mayhem of mangled metal, with several officers narrowly avoiding seriously injury as an impaired driver tried to flee a while surrounded by police.
The incident, which was captured on cell phone video, began to unfold at approximately 3:45 AM near Inwood Hill Park at the northwestern tip of Manhattan, when police pulled over a man in a blue Toyota Sienna minivan who appeared to be driving erratically.
Police said that additional officers were called to the scene when the driver of the Sienna, 27 year old George Lopez, refused to turn off his engine, open his doors and exit his vehicle as instructed.
With officers all around him and two more opening his driver’s-side sliding door in an attempt to extricate him from the car, Lopez spun his vehicle in backwards circles three times, striking several police cruisers and other parked cars. He then drove off on the Dyckman Street sidewalk, leaving his mangled front bumper and his right side headlight behind.
After turning onto the Henry Hudson Parkway, Lopez headed northbound on the southbound lanes for nearly four miles, exiting the highway via the Moshulu Parkway entrance ramp, where he crashed into a parked 2016 Toyota Rav 4.
A picture of the battered minivan driven by Lopez posted to Twitter by ABC reporter Ce Faan Kim shows the vehicle with much of the rubber missing from its front right tire and one of its detached doors resting against another vehicle in an NYPD lot.
Police said that they have yet to determine if the minivan, which had out of state plates, had been stolen and are still trying to identify the registered owner of the car.
A resident of the Fort George section of Northern Manhattan, Lopez was apprehended by officers and taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital to be treated for injuries, along with the driver of the Rav 4.
Three police officers were taken to the hospital and released after being treated for minor injuries which included a bruised knee, a bruised hand and a sprained wrist.