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An unidentified perpetrator got out of a Chrysler Sebring with Pennsylvania plates at the busy intersection of Morris Park and Herring avenues on Tuesday, July 20 and proceeded to take off all his clothes.
Sitting behind the Sebring, which was stopped at a red light, was the Morris Park Community Association’s patrol car, with Robert LaPietra and Duane Spearman already on the radio alerting police about the odd occurrence.
“He took off his shirt, then his sneakers, and then his boxers,” LaPietra noted. “Then, he began to fondle himself.”
When the man saw the patrol car behind him, he apparently got worried, and jumped back into his car taking LaPietra and Spearman on a 15-minute joy ride up and down Morris Park Avenue.
First, the car headed up Morris Park Avenue, before making a U-turn at Lurting Avenue and heading southbound on the thoroughfare again before just stopping at the corner of Haight Avenue.
“We were more afraid when he started to go south on Morris Park Avenue because we thought he was going to try to get to the highway,” LaPietra noted. “We didn’t want to startle him because he could have crashed into pedestrians or other cars. We are supposed to be the eyes and ears of the police and not get into confrontations.”
LaPietra’s partner in the MPCA patrol car shared his concerns about the intentions of the obviously mentally disturbed driver.
“This guy just started screaming to himself and taking off all of his clothes,” Spearman stated. “The guy was demented. We had no idea where he was headed.”
While LaPietra and Spearman worked the radio, officers from the 49th Precinct also joined in the pursuit, and eventually cornered the moving car that everyone hoped would stop without anyone being injured.
“We were on the line with a police dispatcher when he was finally taken out of the car,” LaPietra stated. “About six NYPD patrol cars converged on the scene. There were about 75 people on the street near the new Dunkin Donuts on Morris Park Avenue to see this naked guy get handcuffed and taken away. It was quite a scene.”
Both LaPietra, a seven-year veteran of the MPCA patrol and Spearman, who has been with the patrol twice as long, are co-directors of the longstanding program to keep the streets of Morris Park safe and clean.
“I have seen people walking on the tracks at the Morris Park train station before,” Spearman pointed out, noting that he has witnessed odd behavior in the past. “This was really beyond strange.”
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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