Police fired on a suspect who stole a Fort Lee police car, drove into one officer and tried to mow down another at a borough motel before abandoning the car in New York City Friday morning, authorities said.
Investigators recovered the stolen Fort Lee police unmarked grey Audi in upper Manhattan, near 125th Street and Riverside Drive, but the assailant had escaped, an NYPD spokesman said.
A massive search was launched involving heavily armed New York City police, a helicopter and K-9 unit. Officers were also checking area hospitals, but authorities said it was not clear if the man was hit by police gunfire.
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli identified the suspect as 33-year-old Juan Manuel Mendez, who also goes by Juan Mendez Lazaro, Eddie or Eduardo. A police-issued raid jacket and .45 caliber ammunition were also taken from the stolen car.
Authorities said the escape and gunfire began around 10 a.m. during an investigation at the Skyview Motel, but additional details were not immediately made public.
Mendez was described as Hispanic, 25 to 35 years old, 5'10"6'0 tall and weighing 200 to 230 pounds with multiple tattoos. He should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information was asked to call Fort Lee police at 201-592-3510 or the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 201-226-5651.
Last updated 2:30 p.m. Saturday. First posted 11 a.m. Friday.