The incident affected traffic amid the return of hundreds of travelers after Thanksgiving celebrations. Two lanes in both directions were closed for several hours.
A chaotic incident occurred on the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge on Sunday afternoon after a search for a stolen car ended with a New York State Trooper hospitalized, suspected thieves in custody, gunfire, and traffic congestion for commuters after Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The chain of events reportedly began Saturday in the Bronx when a 2021 Acura Sedan was reported stolen, two New York City Police officials said. Then on Sunday, the owner of the stolen car informed police that on the vehicle tracking app he saw the car on the RFK bridge.
It was on the bridge that Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority officials saw the stolen vehicle and notified the New York State Police (NYSP), New York City Police officials said. The authorities approached the car and at that moment the driver backed up and ran over one of the officers.
The NYSP said the uniformed man was struck around 1:00 pm on the Manhattan side of the bridge. The officer sustained minor leg injuries and was taken to Elmhurst Hospital.
A female witness, who was on the bridge, said the incident occurred in front of her.
“There was a gray car and the driver did not want to open the windows. The police touched the window and did not open it,” said the witness. “When the window was finally rolled down, the policeman tried to get him out of the car, but at that moment he started and hit all the other cars.”
In the driver’s attempt to flee from the officers, several vehicles were hit and a police officer opened fire on the suspects, New York City Police officers with direct knowledge of the investigation confirmed. No one was wounded by a gunshot.
Officials said the driver was able to get off the bridge and into Harlem, where police stopped and arrested two people. On the one hand, the 21-year-old driver and the 17-year-old passenger.
The driver was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, reckless danger, vehicular assault, running away, obstruction of government administration, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. The passenger was charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Possession of an Imitation Firearm, Obstruction of Government Administration, and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.
The investigation into the shooting caused important parts of the bridge to be closed and caused delays in what was expected to be a busy day of travel after Thanksgiving celebrations.
Hundreds of cars were trapped shortly after police began the investigation after 1:00 p.m. Two lanes remained closed in both directions of the bridge after 6:00 p.m.
The New York City Police along with the Bridge and Tunnel Authority also joined the investigation.