Police in pursuit of a man in the car. Selected focus on face

Trouble in the Bronx

A sedan with Pennsylvania license plates led police on a high-speed chase through the Bronx this week, and the wild ride culminated in a multiple-car pileup, a shot fired, and three arrests.

At around 1am, cops noticed the car in question speeding through the Belmont neighborhood of the Bronx. The car was spotted tearing northwards on Crescent Avenue, garnering the attention of police, who promptly engaged in pursuit. The driver, however, had no intentions of going down without a fight.

When the sirens went on, the car took off.

Police pursued the vehicle on a short jaunt through Belmont, heading towards Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus. On East Fordham Road (the multi-lane street abutting campus), the car tried hopping a small curb, but lost control of the vehicle, and wound up side-swiping two patrol cars.

Three men, ages 19, 20 and 21, exited the vehicle, attempting to flee on foot. An officer discharged one bullet from his service weapon, though none of the suspects were hit. They were eventually apprehended, and arrested.

Charges are pending for the three suspects.

Four police officers suffered minor injuries, sustained when their patrol cars were side-swiped. They were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for neck and back injuries.

What to Do When You’re Pulled Over

This story serves as an almost perfect example of what not to do when pulled over by the police. The only silver lining to be found in the incident above is that nobody was killed. However, attempting to flee the police is extremely dangerous. Failing to pull over in a safe and timely fashion puts your life in immediate jeopardy, and compromises the safety of your passengers, pedestrians, and the police involved. What follows is a brief rundown of what you should do when you’re being pulled over. By adhering to this proper protocol, you will help keep yourself and your passengers safe:

  • Pull Over: This may seem like a simplistic first bit of advice. But it’s important to remember that a police officer is entitled to pull you over for even the most minor traffic indiscretion. Even if you believe that you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ll only make things worse if you refuse to pull over.
  • Play It Safe, Take It Slow: It’s natural to feel apprehensive when you’re being pulled over by police. For many, getting pulled over ranks among the most nerve-racking experiences imaginable. Even so, it’s imperative that you stay calm, reduce your speed, and find a safe, non-trafficked area to park your vehicle.
  • Stay Calm: As the police officer approaches, roll down your windows, and remember to keep your movements slow and to a minimum. Answer all of the officer’s questions in a calm, collected and respectful manner.
  • Don’t Incriminate Yourself: A corollary to the idea of keeping your answers brief and polite- limit the amount of potentially self-incriminating information you willingly divulge. Answer all of the officer’s questions in-full, but try not to admit to wrongdoings that could potentially work against you in a court of law.
  • Don’t Exit the Vehicle: Unless you are explicitly instructed to exit your vehicle, remain seated.
  • Know Your Rights: If a police officer can see open alcohol containers, drug paraphernalia, or possible weapons in plain view from outside the car, then it may be lawful for them to search your vehicle. Otherwise, they will have to obtain a warrant. Knowing this distinction could prove eminently useful.
  • Do Not Argue: If you are issued a ticket, do not overreact. Do not argue or lose your temper. If you’ve received a ticket, your best chance at avoiding punishment is hiring a lawyer and challenging the charges in court. No ticket has ever been overturned or thrown out by an irate motorist at the scene of the incident. Accepting the ticket with a smile can, in fact, help you down the line.

Criminal traffic offenses are one of the most common causes for arrest in the United States of America. There are well over 200 million licensed drivers in America, which means infractions occur at a high volume. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we understand how unenviable a position standing accused of a driving crime can be. We know the fear that comes along with facing criminal charges and the anxiety involved with the prospect of potentially losing your license. That’s why we’re here to help. As New York’s preeminent vehicular-law attorneys, Kaplan Lawyers PC can analyze the details of your case, mount a strong defense, and help ensure a favorable outcome for you or your loved ones. If you’re unsure where to turn, turn to Kaplan Lawyers PC. Our consultations are a free and easy way to get started, so contact us today.