A thief behind the wheel of a stolen Hummer led police on a dangerous chase through a busy Manhattan street Tuesday afternoon, taking out part of a city bus and hitting a taxi cab before smashing through the front of a restaurant and hitting several pedestrians.
The wild ride began at about 2:20 p.m., when the thief hopped into a 2008 black Hummer at a nearby garage as an attendant was getting ready to park it, police said.
The attendant jumped on the sideboard in an attempt to stop the vehicle, and hung on as the Hummer sped away, until it blew through a red light on Fifth Avenue near 25th Street.
That's where the attendant alerted nearby police, who began to pursue the suspect, believed to be a teenager.
Witnesses said they saw the driver speeding the wrong way down Sixth Avenue, and that he tried to escape police by turning on to 23rd Street.
As the Hummer traveled west on 23rd Street, it took out the front of a bus and hit a cab.
"He skidded right into the bus," said bystander Ty Byrd, who was nearly hit by the vehicle as he was headed to nearby Home Depot.
The driver continued to drive west toward Seventh Avenue -- and that's when he crossed over to the other side of the avenue, spinning out of control and smashing through the front of Rub BBQ restaurant, witnesses said.
"We heard an explosion, basically," said the eatery's owner, Andrew Fischel. He was downstairs and escaped injury, but his cashier behind the counter was hurt.
"The car ran through the window and pushed her back," said Fischel. "She said she started running when she saw the car, and the counter smashed into her."
In total, four people were seriously hurt and taken to Bellevue Hospital, police said. Three others were taken to Beth Israel with minor injuries. One other person hurt at the scene refused medical treatment.
The driver was immediately taken into police custody, and charges are pending.
Investigation is ongoing.