By Carla Zanoni
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A police captain was dragged down a northern Manhattan street Wednesday night after trying to stop a motorcyclist who was riding on the sidewalk outside a public school, police said.
Capt. Jose Navarro of the 34th Precinct was leaving the precinct's Community Council meeting at IS 143 at 515 West 182nd Street with a group of residents when two men on a 1994 Yamaha motor cross motorcycle raced toward them at 20 mph, police said.
Navarro stepped in front of the oncoming bike and ordered the driver, who police identified as 19-year-old Robert Casilla, to stop the bike, police said.
But Casilla allegedly ignored Navarro and tried to drive off, police said. But Navarro grabbed the bike's handle bars and was dragged eight feet before the bike crashed into a stairway railing outside the school, police said.
Casilla was immediately arrested while his passenger 19-year-old Franllely Alvarado attempted to run from the scene, but was caught by NYPD Officer Haydee Pabey and taken into custody, according to the NYPD.
Navarro and Pabey were treated for minor injuries at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and were released shortly after on Wednesday night, police said.
Casilla and Alvarado were both charged with reckless endangerment; aggravated, unlicensed operation of a vehicle; reckless driving; possession of a forged instrument; possession of multiple licenses; criminal impersonation; and disorderly conduct, according to police.
The incident occurred moments after Navarro had finished discussing the problem of dangerous motorcycles in Washington Heights and Inwood with residents during his commander’s report at the police council community meeting.
"These kids weave in and out of traffic and are dangerous," he said. "Like I’ve said before I won’t ask my guys to chase after them as it can create a more dangerous situation."
Navarro had also implored residents to let the precinct know if they know where illegal bikes are being stored in the neighborhood so that police can work to get illegal bikes off the streets.
"Let us know," Navarro said. "You are our eyes and ears in the community."