Thursday, December 18, 2014

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NYPD Joins Search For Armed Suspect Who Stole NJ Police Car

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TWC News: NYPD Joins Search For Armed Suspect Who Stole NJ Police Car
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Police are searching along Manhattan's Riverside Park for a man they say stole a police car from Fort Lee, New Jersey Friday morning.

Police say the suspect's name is Juan Mendez, but he also goes by multiple other names, such as Juan Mendez Lazzaro and Eddie or Eduardo.

He is believed to be between 25 and 35 years old.

Officials say Mendez was being frisked by Fort Lee police at the Skyview Motel in Fort Lee when he allegedly jumped into an unmarked police car belonging to the Fort Lee Police Department.

NY1 is told that the suspect hit one Fort Lee police officer and tried to run over another before speeding away.

Police opened fire, but it's not clear if they hit the suspect.

The suspect fled over the George Washington Bridge despite being fired at by officers, according to police.

A witness at the scene described what she saw.

"He makes a run for it into the undercover police car. The police are trying to get him," the witness said. "I think that's when the shots were fired, and he takes off with the door hanging open, takes off out through there, speeding, goes all the way to the highway. And then the police got in their car, started chasing him, and that's all I heard."

They say they recovered the unmarked Audi A6 at 125th Street and Riverside Drive, but the police-issued backpack, raid gear and ammunition that were inside are missing.

Police choppers and swat teams were brought in to search parks, storefronts and nearby rooftops.

Authorities say Mendez should be considered armed and dangerous.

He is described as being between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet tall, weighs between 220 and 230 pounds, and has a tattoo of a skull on his right arm.

New Jersey officials are asking anyone with information to call the Fort Lee Police at 201-592-3510 or the Bergen County Prosecutors at 201-226-5651.

Anyone with information on the case can also contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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