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Ten cops injured trying to catch driver fleeing traffic stop in Brooklyn

2019-09-05

A broken taillight led to a wild chase of traffic regulations scofflaw in Brooklyn that injured 10 police officers. (icenando/Getty Images)

It was a traffic molehill that quickly stacked up to a mountain of mishaps as law enforcement officers collared a slippery scofflaw who flauted regulations once too often.

By the time motorist Justin Valentine, 25, was corralled in Brooklyn Tuesday morning, 10 police officers, including an NYPD precinct commander, were injured.

“I am proud of the deputy sheriffs, who observed a small violation and realized it was connected to a larger matter that the sheriff''s office was investigating,” city Sheriff Joseph Fucito said, also thanking the NYPD for their handling of the incident.

The mayhem began when two city sheriff’s deputies pulled over a 2003 gray Honda for a broken taillight at Shepherd Ave. and Ridgewood Ave. in East New York about 8:45 a.m., police said.

They ran a check on the vehicle and realized it was wanted for seizure because it had $761 worth of unpaid traffic tickets, authorities said.

The Honda had been booted Aug. 20 for non-payment of traffic violations but someone had broken the boot off, officials said.

“We’re always looking for vehicle absconders, and that vehicle was on our vehicle absconder list,” Fucito said.

Valentine, who was behind the wheel, stopped but then suddenly sped forward, squeezing his car between two lanes of traffic and hitting four vehicles.

One of the struck vehicles happened to be driven by NYPD Captain Victoria Perry, commander of the 104th Precinct, who was on her way to work.

Valentine, who had one passenger in the case, fled the crash and drove seven blocks with both Perry and the sheriff’s deputies, Jose Marzon and Dominique Prophet, on his tail.

As law enforcement closed in on Chestnut St. and Jamaica Ave. and got out of their cars to apprehend Valentine, however, he ditched the vehicle and took off running. The deputies and Perry chased after him, but Perry had to stop because she hurt her back.

Meanwhile, four other police officers racing to the scene got into a minor crash with another car — and all suffered slight back injuries, officials said.

Valentine ran three blocks to a two-story house on Logan St. and climbed the stairs to the roof, followed by five more police officers and the deputies chasing him there.

The man began threatening to jump off the building, and in the course of wrestling him down, the five officers suffered minor back injuries.

After he was finally taken into custody, Valentine was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal contempt, unauthorized use of a car, disorderly conduct, assault on a police officer and leaving the scene of an accident.

He’s currently being questioned in connection with other crimes, a law enforcement source said.