Brazen Ozone Park car theft outside Taco Bell leaves Queens man in critical condition

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Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Brazen Ozone Park car theft leaves Queens man in critical condition
Tauree Thompson left his car running outside of the Taco Bell on Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park before three suspects jumped in and tried to drive away. Darla Miles has the story.

RICHMOND HILL, Queens (WABC) -- A Queens man clinging to the roof of his just-stolen Lexus was flung to the sidewalk when the thieves crashed the car, leaving him critically injured, police said.

Tauree Thompson, 28, was picking up a Door Dash order from the Taco Bell on Liberty Avenue in Richmond Hill when three teenagers attempted to drive away in his idling Lexus. Seeing the suspects get in, Thompson rushed out and latched himself onto the roof.

The suspects didn't get very far before crashing the Lexus into a fire hydrant. The car flipped over, throwing Thompson onto the sidewalk.

"I heard a screech coming from all the way down the block," said Munie Balram, who witnessed the crash.

"It was coming so fast. Then it was like boom," he added.

Surveillance video shows the three teens climbing out of the crashed car and fleeing. At first, bystanders tried to help them get out of the car, not realizing that Thompson was lying on the sidewalk.

Two of the suspects, both 15 years old, were later caught and taken into custody with charges pending. The third suspect is still at large. Police were trying to determine who was driving.

Thompson is listed in critical condition at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where part of his right skull was removed due to the swelling in his brain.

Thompson is an aspiring rhythm-and-blues singer with music available on Spotify.