Manhunt for Suspect Who Stole New Jersey Police Car, Ran Down Officer, Fled to Manhattan

The unmarked car was stolen in New Jersey and driven to Manhattan

By Shimon Prokupecz and Pat Battle
|  Friday, Aug 23, 2013  |  Updated 7:41 PM EDT
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A manhunt is underway for an armed suspect who stole a police car in New Jersey, ran down an officer and fled over the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan Friday. Pat Battle has the story.

NBC 4 New York

A manhunt is underway for an armed suspect who stole a police car in New Jersey, ran down an officer and fled over the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan Friday. Pat Battle has the story.

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A manhunt is underway for an armed suspect who stole a police car in New Jersey, ran down an officer and fled over the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan Friday.

Law enforcement officials say Fort Lee police were conducting some kind of undercover operation at a motel when the suspect, identified as 33-year-old Juan Manuel Menendez, jumped into the unmarked police car and took off.

Bergen County prosecutors say he struck one police officer and attempted to run over another.

A witness who only gave his first name, John, said the driver flew past him on the way to the bridge. 

"He came on the side of me, over 100 miles an hour, I would say. He becomes between me and the car in front of me, swoops over to the left lane, almost loses control, hitting the divider, and just keeps on going," he said. 

Shots were fired at the suspect, but it's not known if he was struck.

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich said three officers were hurt at the motel. The injuries were not life-threatening, he said.

Police recovered the unmarked police car at 125th Street and Riverside Avenue in Manhattan, where the suspect left it. He took with him an officer's bag containing a raid jacket and .45-caliber ammunition.

Menendez also goes by the name Juan Menendez Lazaro. He's considered armed and dangerous. 

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