A wild car chase ended in an armed robbery in broad daylight Saturday on a quiet Upper East Side street a few blocks from Gracie Mansion, police and witnesses said.
A black Mercedes sedan passed a silver Toyota RAV4 traveling against the tide on Second Ave. near E. 91st St. around 4:40 p.m., and eventually rammed and spun the Toyota near E. 92nd St., police and witnesses said.
Then the Mercedes driver used his car to push the Toyota down a wide stretch of pavement, video obtained by Daily News broadcasts.
Both vehicles left the sidewalk and headed into a bus lane, where the Mercedes crashed into the Toyota a second time.
The Toyota spun into the bus lane and came to a stop. Witnesses heard a loud noise which some mistook for gunshots – but a passerby, January Cotrel, 48, said it was a punctured tyre. The burst tire meant the Toyota couldn’t “go anywhere,” Cotrel said.
“Then a guy came out [of the Mercedes]said another witness, who was named Nour, 22, and said he worked at the Yorkville Deli and Market.
The man who exited the front passenger side of the Mercedes was wearing a mask covering his chin. He hit the passenger-side window of the Toyota with a handgun, the video shows.
“He has a gun! He has a gun! yells a passerby.
The Toyota driver, who police say was 55, got out of his car with his hands raised and the gunman grabbed a bag from inside the car, witnesses told The News.
Noh said the stunned victim later told her the bag contained money.
“The guy was in shock – he can’t say anything. He was just standing in his place,” Nour said of the victim. “At first, when, when he saw the gun… He came out and he put his hands up.”
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Meanwhile, the driver of the Mercedes was waiting behind the wheel for the armed man, witnesses said. “The driver was just waiting for him to get in the car and they left right away,” Nour said.
The Mercedes, with its grille shattered, was apparently found on E. 86th St. near Third Ave.
An employee at a nearby grocery store, Baked by Melissa on E. 86th St. near Third Ave., said he saw three men flee from a black Mercedes-Benz and run toward the subway station on Second Ave.
The incident in the normally quiet neighborhood – about 2 1/2 blocks from Gracie Mansion – spooked nearby people, including customers of Lisa’s on Second, a greeting card store.
“When we were in the store and saw there were guns, I told everyone to go to the back of the store,” said Robert Romano, who worked in the greeting card store.
“It all happened so fast – maybe it happened over a maximum of three minutes,” Romano said.
Police were investigating the incident on Saturday evening.
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