By John Dias

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a woman they say purposefully crashed a car into a hotel-turned-homeless-shelter overnight in the Bronx.

Detectives say the suspect injured four people and then ran off.

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“I heard the thing go ‘boom,’ like real loud,” witness Ronnie Lopez told CBS2’s John Dias.

Lopez said the crash woke up the whole building.

“They started banging on everyone’s doors, ‘everybody stay in your room, there’s an emergency,'” she said.


Cellphone video captured the Blue 2002 Honda Acord in the middle of the Ramada Hotel’s lobby on Gerard Avenue, which serves as a women’s homeless shelter.

Police said the woman had been staying at the shelter. She apparently got into an argument with a manager, then punched her in the face and left.

Residents said she returned with a vengeance and drove a car through the front door.

“I gets off the elevator, and she’s driving her car towards me, and I backed up like, ‘Oh God.’ I almost had a heart attack,” said resident Ann Marie Parker.

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Parker said the suspect demanded to know where the manager went.

“I’m like, ‘I don’t know, I don’t want no smoke, I don’t know.’ I threw my hands up like this because I was so terrified,” she added.

The woman also hit a parked vehicle before slamming into the building.

“Normally, he parks inside, and today’s the day he choose to park outside, so he’s kind of upset,” the owner’s friend, Michael Johnson, said on his behalf.

The suspect’s mother told a different story, saying her daughter may have overreacted but suffers with mental health issues and was having an episode. She claimed the staff was to blame and they attacked her daughter, adding they should have called 911 before things escalated.

Four people suffered minor injuries, but residents said it could have been worse.

“The security guys sit down in front and the workers sit here, I thought they would have been killed,” resident Angela Aiken said.

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Investigators are sifting through surveillance video to get to the bottom of what happened. It’s still unclear whose car was involved.

John Dias