Man Drove BMW Off Tow Truck it Was Hooked to, Police Say

By Mathew Katz on May 23, 2014 8:47am 

 Police said Michael T. Branca, 42, drove his BMW away after it was already hooked into a tow truck.
Police said Michael T. Branca, 42, drove his BMW away after it was already hooked into a tow truck.
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DNAinfo/Paul DeBenedetto

CHELSEA — A man drove his BMW off the back of a tow truck it was hooked to on West 26th Street, police said.

The New York City tow truck driver was in the middle of towing a black $55,000 BMW 535 sedan in front of 248 W. 26th St. at about 6:45 p.m. last Friday when its owner arrived, the NYPD said.

The owner got in the car while it was hooked onto the tow truck and drove off, damaging the truck's strap, according to the NYPD.

Police are now looking for the driver, who is wanted for obstructing government administration.

Other notable crimes in this week's NYPD blotter for the 10th Precinct include:

► A man was attacked by a plywood-wielding assailant after he refused to buy drugs outside the Fulton Houses, police said. 

According to police, the 19-year-old was walking eastbound on West 17th Street at 5:15 a.m. on Sunday when he was approached by five men who wanted to sell him drugs. After refusing, one of the alleged drug dealers asked to use his Samsung Galaxy Note cell phone, police said. The man handed the phone to the alleged dealer, who then ran into the courtyard of the housing project.

When the man ran after him to get his phone back, he was punched by one of the men and surrounded by the four others, police said. One of the men tried to hit him with a piece of plywood, but missed, according to police. The victim was able to get away, but not recover his phone, police said. 

Police are looking for the men, who are described as being in their late teens and early 20s. One of the men was described as 5-foot-11-inches tall, with short black hair, and was last seen wearing a maroon sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Another of the alleged attackers was last seen wearing a black baseball hat and a black T-shirt.

► A man's iPad Air was stolen from his bag at hot spot G. Lounge on Friday night, police said. 

According to police, the man left his bag on a couch at the club at around 10 p.m. while he stepped outside for a few minutes. When he returned, his iPad, identification, and debit card were gone, police said.

Staff at the bar did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

► A man's phone was stolen after he got into a fight over marijuana near Ninth Avenue and West 23rd Street on Thursday, police said. According to police, a man was trying to buy weed from a group of people at about 11 p.m. when they got into a fight because the man didn't like the product. During the fight, the man dropped his phone, which one of the alleged drug dealers picked up while running away.

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