Exclusive NYPD ride-along captures wild police chase in the Bronx up close

Josh Einiger Image
Friday, June 30, 2023
Exclusive NYPD ride-along captures wild police chase up close
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A simple car stop for a fake license plate became an all-out chase on the Cross Bronx Expressway. Josh Einiger witnessed the chase and the moments after during an exclusive ride-along with police.

BRONX, New York (WABC) -- A simple car stop for a fake license plate on Thursday night became an all-out chase, leaving cloud of dust and burning rubber on the Cross Bronx Expressway where the driver bailed out in the middle of the highway, forcing a platoon of officers to dodge traffic.

One of the officers was even hit by a police car in the chaos.

Police don't immediately know why the suspect led them down the highway on that crazy chase, but because one of the officers was hurt, he'll face a charge for assaulting a police officer.

But that's not the only crime he faces. Police later learned the car was stolen out of New Jersey and the driver might be connected to two shootings in Manhattan.

They found him because of a renewed focus on fake plates.

"Community police is at its all-time best," NYPD Deputy Chief Tanya Kinsella said.

Kinsella invited Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger to join the Community Response Team (CRT), which fans out across the city dealing with so-called quality-of-life crimes, or things she says the community complains about the most.

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"We're listening to the community. We're listening to what they want and how they want to feel safe and what makes them feel safe," she said. "The community will tell you what is plaguing them, what crimes, what quality-of-life issues."

On Thursday night, they hit the Bronx. Dozens of officers were in a convoy looking specifically for the things citizens complain about the most.

It didn't take long to find what's become known as a ghost car. That's when a temporary tag doesn't match the car it's attached to.

It turned out that the driver had a suspended license, and his had been involved in a past shooting.

Police boxed the car in, so the driver couldn't flee.

"A lot of the time these vehicles will take off because they're not registered, not insured and they don't even know why we're stopping them," said Det. Kaz Daughty of the NYPD Community Response Team. "We're stopping them for this temporary tag but they could have committed another infraction, robbery shooting."

That's exactly what happened a few minutes later, when the driver of a BMW, with a fake California tag, did manage to get through and raced onto the Cross Bronx Expressway at rush hour.

The chief helped her injured officer to a nearby police car, and now the suspect will find his way to a detective squad in Manhattan, where officers may just solve two shootings.

It's a minor traffic infraction that yielded something so much bigger.


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