FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A suspect was apprehended Monday evening, after police said he ran off from a controlled drug purchase in Palisades Interstate Park and ended up on a cliff.

Around 5:15 p.m., Palisades Interstate Parkway police officers were conducting a drug sting as part of an ongoing investigation on a stairway off Hudson Terrace in the Fort Lee section of Palisades Interstate Park.

During the controlled drug purchase, the suspect ran off on the undercover officer into a wooded area of the park just north of the George Washington Bridge, police said.

Police chased the suspect along with Fort Lee and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officers. The suspect went on running east and then north through the woods until he crossed over a fence line and started scaling down the cliff, police said.

Officers converged his location and the Henry Hudson Drive below, but he stopped moving and got stuck in a tree, police said.

The suspect could not move or be reached once he got stuck in the tree, so rappel teams were called in.

Chopper 2 flew overhead during the chase, which quickly turned into a rescue.

When the rescuers reached the suspect and tried to put the harness on him, he became agitated — resisting the help of the authorities risking their lives.

“Extremely hazardous duty for the officers on the side of the cliff, and imagine in the darkness too,” Joe Biermann said as he hovered overhead in Chopper 2.

Police finally rescued and apprehended the suspect just before 8 p.m.

Special units had to lower themselves roughly 150 feet along the mountainside to reach the man. They put him in a harness and hoisted him onto a ledge.

The suspect was uninjured when he was arrested and taken to Palisades Interstate Parkway Police New Jersey Headquarters.

Anthony Lora

Anthony Lora is accused of running off from a controlled drug purchase in the Palisades Interstate Park and scaling down a cliff. (Credit: Palisades Interstate Parkway Police)

The suspect, identified as Anthony Lora, 22, of the Bronx, was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and ecstasy, resisting arrest by flight to create substantial risk of physical injury to a public servant, and unsworn falsification.

Lora also had an extraditable warrant from the NYPD, police said.

Additional charges were pending late Monday.


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