LOWER EAST SIDE — A hit-and-run driver struck a police officer in Chinatown Monday afternoon and led cops on a chase through the neighborhood before finally being caught on the Lower East Side, police said.
The driver, whose name and age was not released, was behind the wheel of a gray Toyota Camry that hit an officer who was standing at the corner of Bayard and Elizabeth streets just after 1 p.m., police said. The officer was taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition, police said.
The car then fled the scene, triggering a police chase that ended when the male driver and female passenger were arrested at the corner of Broome and Allen streets, a police officer at the scene said.
Plainclothes cops, some wearing bulletproof vests, swarmed the car, according to a witness who lives in an apartment above the intersection.
"Two cops had their guns drawn on him [the driver]," said the witness, who gave his name only as Jeff, 26.
Officers then pulled the driver from the car, according to witness Julio Ramize.
"He was foaming at the mouth," said Ramize, 40 who was standing on Allen Street at the time of the crash.
A 1st Precinct police officer at the scene also confirmed that the driver had foam coming out of his mouth when he was arrested and attributed it to possible drug use. The officer said the driver was taken to a nearby hospital in an ambulance.
The car's female passenger was also arrested at the scene, police said. She had a small dog with her, which officers said would be taken to the 1st Precinct.
Police did not immediately release the identities of the driver, passenger, or police officer who was hit.