Man driving stolen delivery truck leads to destructive police chase through Staten Island

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, December 29, 2023
Wild police chase on Staten Island leaves 9 people hurt, 18 cars damaged
Josh Einiger has the breaking details on the wild and destructive chase.

STAPLETON, Staten Island (WABC) -- Several NYPD officers were hurt after a man stole a delivery truck and led police on a wild and destructive chase through Staten Island, ramming into more than a dozen cars.

The incident unfolded on Staten Island just before 6 p.m. Thursday, but the drama actually started hours earlier in New Jersey, where police say the 48-year-old driver committed "serious property crimes," including the theft of a W.B. Mason truck.

NYPD officers on Staten Island were looking for the truck when they say the driver stole two other cars, but for some reason got back into the truck. That's when officers first spotted him at Bishop Street and Cranford Avenue in the Stapleton section.

When officers attempted to stop the driver, officials say he put the vehicle in reverse and struck a police car, dragging it about 30 to 40 feet as he attempted to drive away.

Police then gave chase for nearly five miles, spanning two police precincts.

The driver rammed at least 25 vehicles with the truck, including seven police cars, during an odyssey of destruction through the wet streets of Staten Island.

"Obviously he was not going to stop, and he was putting the public in grave danger," said NYPD Assistant Chief Joseph Gulotta.

Officers called for aviation support and started closing off streets and bridges to slow down traffic.

At some point he lost control and plowed into a row of parallel-parked cars on Van Duzer Street near Beach Street.

Surveillance video obtained by Eyewitness News shows the domino of destruction when the delivery truck flew out of control and slammed into the row of parked cars.

"It was really loud, just a loud crashing noise, and all the neighbors could hear a loud noise and screeching," restaurant owner Shaw-nee Dixon said. "All we just saw was the chaos and it was turning into a crime scene, all the cop cars in every direction."

The suspect then bailed from the truck, but was caught by police.

Seven police officers suffered non-life-threatening injuries but no civilians were hurt.

"Everybody's safe, everybody's OK. You have to look at it on the upside and at the end of the day the cops did their job, they kept everyone safe and apprehended the person who created all this mess," Dixon said.

Officials believe the suspect stole at least three cars between New Jersey and Staten Island on Thursday.

The 48-year-old remained hospitalized Friday and is expected to face charges.


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