NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An intense manhunt is under way for a suspect in Queens who police said injured an officer in a hit-and-run during an apparent crime spree.
Police have been canvassing Astoria since Thursday night searching for the suspect, identified as Gary Sarback, 61, of Lake Worth, Fla.
Just before 9 p.m., police spotted a stolen black Ford pickup truck near Crescent Street and Broadway that authorities said was linked to a nearby robbery from earlier in the day.[cbs-audio url=”http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/cop-struck-4-sandberg-w-40-soc-thamilton.mp3″ size=”340″ download=”false” name=”Manhunt Under Way For Suspect Wanted In Queens Hit-And-Run” artist=”1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports”]
When cops tried to pull over the driver, he refused to stop and then struck the officer as he sped away, police said.
“You could tell he was pretty hurt,” witness Cynthia Mejia said of the officer. “It was like four officers to keep calm because he was laying down and then they put in the ambulance.”
The officer was taken to the hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
Police said the injured cop and the suspect exchanged gunfire, but it’s unclear who fired the first shot, CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang reported. A second officer also suffered minor injuries during the incident.
The truck was later found abandoned at 37th Avenue and 24th Street.
The person who reported the truck stolen is from West Palm Beach, Fla., and informed detectives there was a gun inside, though no gun was recovered from the scene or from the truck.
Police said the suspect had tried to steal a woman’s purse earlier in the day on 79th Street. The victim chased the man back to his truck and was dragged by the vehicle as it fled, police said. The victim refused medical treatment at the scene.
Sarback is described as a white man with gray hair and wearing glasses.
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