There's no shortage of tales of the terror experienced in the cabs and livery cars of New York, but a group of French tourists yesterday entered the hall of fame.
"We screamed and prayed the whole time we were in the van. God heard us. It was a miracle that we survived," 26-year-old Parisian Esther-Ethy Mamane told the New York Post, shortly after surviving a two-borough, high-speed chase.
Mamane and four of her fellow countrymen deplaned at JFK; as they emerged from the terminal they were ushered by Ian McFarland into a van driven by Khaalis Preacher.
A Port Authority cop recognized McFarland as a veteran "steerer," someone who herds unsuspecting travelers into unlicensed livery cars and vans. When one officer, planning to charge the men with illegal solicitation, reached into the van's window to grab the keys, the chase was on.
Port Authority police sped after the van, which snaked through residential streets and traveled about seven miles through two boroughs before it crashed through a gate at a U.S. Postal Service facility in the East New York section of Brooklyn.
"It went very, very fast. We're going zoom, zoom, zoom," said Gwen Dulugat, as she cut a zig-zag with her hands.
After seven miles of hell, the perps slowed enough for McFarland and Khaalis to leap out. But cops, who stayed hot on the tail the whole time, quickly descended upon them and arrested them for unlawful solicitation, criminal trespass and possibly other charges.