NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Passengers in a so-called “dollar van” in Brooklyn encountered frightening moments when a driver led police on a wild, high-speed chase through the streets of Flatbush.
Video from December 1st that’s since gone viral shows passengers screaming for help during the out of control discount ride.
“Stop the bus! Oh Jesus, lord have mercy,” passengers can be heard pleading. “Hey mister, stop the bus!”
Police sources say the driver ran a red light and nearly hit a pedestrian, all while the New York City sheriff’s deputy was watching. The deputy tried to pull him over, but that’s when the ride went from discount to dangerous as the driver made a run for it.
In the video, passengers fly backwards as the van perilously accelerates. One woman can even be seen cradling a baby in her arms.
“We on the bus, we’re getting chased by police,” the man recording the video explained. “I’m in a dollar van and the dollar van refused to stop.
The driver nearly hit a red car on the left side as passengers continued to scream and plead with him to pull over. He refused, pressing on to run more red lights, speed through a school zone while passing a bus, and head the wrong way down a one-way street.
Eventually, the driver does pull over but he leaves the van and runs down the street. The video keeps rolling as law enforcement officers sprint by.
Finally off the bus after two minutes of mayhem, one of the passengers saw a moment of opportunity — she appeared to grab a wad of cash from the driver’s side of the van. She walks away, and is seen handing some of the loot to a fellow rider.
Another passenger tries to convince her to leave the money alone, but she claims to know the driver. NYPD officers arrived and quickly sped off, trying to track down the daredevil dollar van driver who to this day hasn’t been found.
Many of the discount vans operate illegally and aren’t licensed, but others are legitimate commuter vans that are regulated by the city. In this instance, it wasn’t immediately clear if the van was operating legally.
Police have not yet released the name of the man they’re looking for.