Demolition Derby through local streets

Demolition Derby through local streets
walter pofeldt

He was high. Then he tried to take cops down. Then cops took HIM down after a demolition derby along Morris Park Avenue and surrounding streets.

Police officers peppered a minivan with 19 bullets after its driver —allegedly stoned on narcotics — tried to run them over during a Cat-and-Mouse chase through three East Bronx neighborhoods on Tuesday evening, Jan. 28, police said.

The driver of the black Chrysler Town and Country somehow survived the onslaught without a scratch, despite five cops shooting into the vehicle.

He was was busted moments later, when he rammed into a telephone pole on Morris Park and Wyatt Avenues.

Police said they found over 100 pills of the illegal narcotic Oxycodone inside the van.

No police personnel or civilians were harmed during the mayhem, according to the 49th Precinct’s preliminary investigation.

Shots ring at corner

After its driver tried to back into them, a lieutenant and four police officers opened fire on the van as it sped away from Morris Park and Taylor Avenues, where police had cornered it. Cops had been following the van since a police car tried to issue the van’s driver a traffic summons five blocks east for nearly striking a pedestrian on Morris Park Avenue and White Plains Road.

The cops had been on a special traffic detail in the city’s new crackdown on drivers not yielding to pedestrians crossing with a green light.

Police began the pursuit just before 5 p.m. in Morris Park. For the next five minutes, the van drove erratically through Van Nest, stopping and starting numerous times and vexing the cops trying to pull its driver over, Deputy Inspector Lorenzo Johnson told the Times-Reporter.

The van veered against traffic on Garfield Street and again careened the wrong way down Taylor Avenue, where it mounted the sidewalk at Morris Park Ave. and came to a stop, said Johnson.

Police thought that the driver would then give himself up, and five officers approached on foot to arrest him. But when the van suddenly launched backwards, the cops shot at it 19 times.

The battered van then escaped onto Morris Park Avenue, where it smashed into a parked civilian car and turned left. Moments later the out-of-control van hit the telephone pole, on Morris Park and Wyatt avenues in West Farms, where police finally moved in for the arrest.

A drug recognition expert on the scene determined that Henry was high on narcotics, police said —but an official toxicology report is still pending.

A history of crime

Cops nailed Jason Henry, 39, from the Hunt’s Point area, on a slew of charges including driving while impaired by drugs, vehicular assault and criminal mischief.

Henry had already been arrested more than a dozen times for marijuana possession and driving without a license, police said.

The investigation raged on Wednesday morning, Jan. 29, when police shut down the affected stretch of Morris Park Avenue as investigators gathered evidence at the scene.

Henry was arraigned in Bronx Criminal Court and charged with 10 misdemeanors and one felony. He is being held at Rikers Island on $20,000 bail with a court appearance set for Feb. 3.

Ben Kochman can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742–3394