Police kill driver after chase through Bronx

Posted: Updated:

(AP) - A drug suspect who led police on a wild chasethrough the Bronx was shot and killed by officers as he tried toram his way through stopped traffic on an expressway earlySaturday, police said.

Orlando Santos, 28, bolted when police tried to stop his SUVbecause of a broken headlight late Friday night, police spokesmanPaul Browne said.

Police chased the SUV for more than five miles as it racedthrough side streets, over sidewalks and through a parking lot. Itfinally got stuck in traffic on Interstate 87, the Major DeeganExpressway, shortly after midnight as police began shutting downlanes, Browne said.

Santos began ramming other cars, trying to clear a path throughthe traffic, Browne said. At least six vehicles were damaged ascars slammed into each other and up onto a concrete divider.

As three police officers ran up to the SUV, Santos put thevehicle into reverse and tried to run them over, according towitnesses in a taxi, Browne said. In a statement, police called it"a deliberate attempt to strike the officers."

The statement said police ordered Santos to get out of the car,but he refused. Police fired at that point, then again after hestruck several more cars - about 10 in all - and drove at theofficers again, forcing two of them to jump the highway divider,the statement said. In all, the three officers fired 19 times, hitting Santos atleast four times in the head and neck, Browne said.

Police pulled a passenger from the SUV. He suffered onlyscratches. He had not been charged with any crime as of Saturdayafternoon, Browne said.

Santos, who lived in the Bronx, had a history of drug andweapons arrests and was wanted on a warrant for selling drugs,Browne said. He said no weapons or contraband were found in theSUV.

None of the other people on the highway were seriously injured,but a pregnant woman in one of the cars was taken to a hospital asa precaution, Browne said.

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