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Cops tailing road rage vehicle bust gun-toting driver with taser blast in wild Lower East Side encounter

2019-05-19

Amado Zubidi is escorted by NYPD officers from the 7th Precinct for booking and arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Saturday in Manhattan, New York. (Jeff Bachner/for New York Daily News)

A Taser-toting cop ended a life-threatening Saturday morning showdown by taking down an armed driver who shoved his loaded revolver into a second officer’s chest, police said.

The wild pre-dawn arrest of dazed suspect Amado Zubidi, 28, inside his white Dodge Caravan came three weeks after the vehicle was involved in a road rage shooting near the George Washington Bridge. Police identified the car by its license plate around 5:30 a.m. Saturday, setting the confrontation in motion, cops said.

“I can’t stress enough how dangerous this incident was, and how tragic it could have turned out,” said NYPD Capt. Aaron Edwards. “This is as close as any police officer can come ... This was very bad.”

Cops looking for the Caravan spotted the vehicle parked on the Lower East Side and followed the car when the driver pulled away, police said. The tailing officers called for backup when the car parked again outside 90 Columbia St., and four officers surrounded the Caravan.

Police recovered this .38 caliber Taurus revolver, which was loaded with the five rounds seen in the photo.
Police recovered this .38 caliber Taurus revolver, which was loaded with the five rounds seen in the photo. (NYPD)

According to police, Zubidi became evasive and antsy as cops ordered him out of the car. When two of the officers moved to yank him from the front seat, he reached down for what turned out to be a five-shot, .38-caliber revolver.

Zubidi suddenly shoved the gun against one cop’s chest, prompting a second officer to blast the suspect with his Taser. Zubidi was quickly disarmed and arrested.

From left, NYPD officers Daniel Amaral, Luis Perez, Joseph Stokes and Jose Aracena made the arrest.
From left, NYPD officers Daniel Amaral, Luis Perez, Joseph Stokes and Jose Aracena made the arrest. (NYPD)

Zubidi, wearing in an inside-out T-shirt, was marched stone-faced from the Seventh Precinct hours after his arrest. The suspect was charged with attempted murder and gun possession, police said.

Police said shots were fired from the same white vehicle during an April 28 road rage confrontation in Washington Heights. An unknown gunman inside the van fired a shot at a second vehicle during the encounter, with no one injured or arrested. It was unclear if Zubidi was involved in the earlier incident.

The white minivan is pictured near the Bernard Baruch Houses on Columbia Street in Manhattan on Saturday.
The white minivan is pictured near the Bernard Baruch Houses on Columbia Street in Manhattan on Saturday. (Theodore Parisienne/for New York Daily News)

The van was first spotted again Friday, parked illegally by a fire hydrant around 7 a.m. When a traffic agent was writing the ticket, the van suddenly took off and the agent called in the license plate number. Less than 24 hours later, the van was spotted again and the confrontation with the driver ensued.