It happened around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon in the north end of the park just below Lasker Pool.
Witnesses say it didn't appear to be an accident.
They say the driver seemed to speed up on the East Drive of the park and intentionally drove the minivan into the lake which is covered with algae.
According to an eyewitness, the driver got out of the partially submerged van and slogged through the muddy-bottomed lake to shore.
There he attempted to walk away but was stopped by a Good Samaritan.
The driver of the van, 30-year-old Anthony Rojo, of the Bronx and one firefighter suffered minor injuries.
Rojo is charged with reckless endangerment and reckless driving.