NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Staten Island were searching late Monday afternoon for a hit-and-run driver who left a pedestrian critically injured.
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, it was a gruesome scene at the corner of Frean and Targee streets in the Stapleton section of the borough.
Surveillance video showed the victim simply walking down the sidewalk on Targee Street just after 2 p.m., apparently listening to music on his headphones. Later, while crossing the street, the man wound up on the hood of a silver minivan headed down Frean Street.
“I heard the boom when I came here. I saw the guy laying on the floor, and then when the ambulance come, they turn him over. His face was ripped – and his clothes. You could tell that he was dragged, and the floor was ripped from the concrete,” said witness Hussein Murotivic.
The minivan was found about three blocks away on Hudson Street, with damage to the front bumper and a smashed windshield from the impact. But police said the driver was nowhere to be found.
Witnesses described an awful scene. The 36-year-old pedestrian’s baseball hat, headphones and cellphone were left in the street, his body dragged for more than 100 feet down the block.
Sergio Puentes said his surveillance cameras caught the accident on tape.
“The car, they never stopped,” Puentes told 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman. “They went to here for another block.”
Neighbor Mike Melendez said he heard screaming from his porch. He said drivers go way too fast on Targee Street, and his wife and kids almost got hit on the same corner recently.
“It’s crazy the way cars drive over here, speeding,” Melendez said. “There’s always cops here to give them tickets and everything, but they still do it no matter what.”
The victim remained in critical condition late Monday. His name has not been released.
“It was terrible!” said Ismet Tala.
Tala lives around the corner on Gordon Street, where he said he saw the van on his surveillance round the corner with the victim as it sped off.
“The body just laying there, and it looked like not breathing, but he was breathing,” Tala said.
Tala watched as firefighters cleaned up the bloody scene. He said there is no way the driver can claim it was all an accident.
“He hit him all the way down there and drag them over here,” Tala said. “He knew what he was doing.”
In an unrelated incident early Monday morning on Staten Island, a hit-and-run driver struck a woman as she was taking her infant nephew out of a minivan.
Police say 37-year-old Monique Knight was removing her four-month-old nephew from the back of a vehicle on Westervelt Avenue in New Brighton shortly after midnight when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver, who smashed into her car.
Police say Knight was taken to Richmond University Medical Center with a leg injury. Friends say she underwent surgery and is in critical but stable condition.
The child and his mother were also taken to the hospital for observation. The infant was not injured.
Police tell CBS2 the suspect in the New Brighton incident is to believed to be driving a dark colored Jeep.