Suspects arrested in Times Square traffic stop that left NYPD officer hurt

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police have arrested two suspects in connection with a traffic stop in Times Square over the weekend that left an NYPD officer injured, just hours after publicly identifying the suspects and releasing their photos.

Authorities say 20-year-old Arfhy Santos and 24-year-old William Lopez are now in custody.

The incident, which was caught on video, happened in the heart of the Crossroads of the World around 11:45 p.m. Saturday.

Authorities say the officer approached a vehicle that was driving recklessly near 234 West 42nd Street, but the driver fled the scene after initially stopping.

The black four-door sedan fled westbound on 42nd Street, towards Eighth Avenue, clipping the officer. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries to his legs and back.

Police say the driver intentionally struck the police officer while trying to escape.

Officials believe Santos was driving, while Lopez is believed to have been a passenger. Police quickly figured out who was responsible.

"He has a history. He did it just last week, Friday at 2 in the morning. He was in Upper Manhattan and did the same exact thing with the same vehicle on a sidewalk," said NYPD Chief William Aubry.

Driving the Mercedes that day according to police was Lopez, the owner of the car who has at least three prior arrests.

On Sunday when the officer was struck and dragged, police say the driver was Santos, who has eight prior arrests, some of which are sealed because he was a juvenile.

Police say he didn't stop after hitting the officer. "The Mercedes made a wide right turn on 42nd Street. It went around a truck and hit into several vehicles as it was attempting to escape," said Aubry.

The two were arrested on 144th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in Harlem. They were in an apartment and tried to escape out a window, according to police.

Authorities are looking for at least one more person.

The officer, whose name has not been released, is recovering.

"I would say he's a brave officer," said Aubry. "His instincts took over. There's a car with its wheels spinning, could have gone out of control, could have hit people and he did what he was taught to do. He stepped in harm's way and he attempted to stop that vehicle."

Related: Photographer stunned by NYPD officer's actions in Times Square car chase


*WARNING: Video contains strong language*

Anyone with additional information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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