By Joy Bergmann
In a wild scene Tuesday evening, a black sedan being pursued by NYPD raced southbound along a paved path inside Riverside Park before crashing near the 72nd Street underpass shortly before 6pm.
Witnesses said two men appeared to be in the sedan. One managed to flee from the scene, while the other laid on the ground moaning about injuries. Over a dozen police vehicles from the 24th and 20th Precincts swarmed the area. NYPD would not comment on the status of the runaway suspect. The injured suspect was taken into custody and removed by ambulance.
James Key was sitting on a bench along the Hudson Riverfront when he heard engines gunning, then sirens, and turned to see the pursuit, estimating speeds of 60 mph, running parallel to the West Side Highway, “They must’ve been wanted for something serious. They wouldn’t do this kind of chase otherwise,” he said.
Onlookers asked a uniformed 24th Precinct officer why the sedan was chased. He replied, “Drugs.”
At the time of the incident, the park was filled with more than the usual crowd of dog-walkers, bicyclists and afterschool playing. West Side Montessori School hosted a family party with well over 200 parents and kids just 50 yards from the crash site.
Update: The Daily News reports that the man who was taken into custody was the passenger in the vehicle — he was detained but had yet to be charged. The driver was still on the loose.
The News reports that the chase started after the men blew a red light near 101st street. The suspects drove onto the Henry Hudson Parkway as they eluded police, before swerving onto a pedestrian pathway in the park.
We have reached out to NYPD for more information. NYPD said that no pedestrians were injured during the chase.