HARLEM — Three men in a Mercedes ran a red light in The Bronx in front of a state courts police squadcar that then chased them into Harlem where they fatally struck a neurologist riding a bicycle, sources said.
The Mercedes struck the 42-year-old professor and physician, whose name was not immediately released, outside 64 E. 129th St., near Madison Avenue, about 11:20 p.m., an NYPD spokesman said.
The cyclist, who sources said worked at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital and who got his doctorate from St. Petersburg State University in Russia, was pronounced dead at the scene, sources said.
The driver of the car and his passengers had not been caught as of Thursday morning.
The chase began in The Bronx when the trio in a 2002 Mercedes sedan with a broken window ran through a red light at Bruckner Boulevard and East 138th Street right in front of a stopped New York State courts police car, sources said.
The officers switched on their lights and chased after the Mercedes, over the Third Avenue Bridge, where they switched off the lights again but continued to follow the car, NYPD officials said.
At some point, the officers lost sight of the car, sources said.
The car turned west onto 129th Street where it blew through red lights at Park Avenue, struck several construction barriers and then fatally rear-ended the cyclist who flew into the car's windshield and then onto the street, police said.
"I heard a big boom. Someone screamed, 'Oh my God! You hit me!'" said Lisa Luis, 35, who lives above the crash scene.
"I looked and saw the guy laying flat out in the street. He had on a white polo. He was on his right side and was completely out. He didn't move one inch. The bike was mangled," Luis said.
"It was horrible."
The Mercedes then turned south onto Madison Avenue against the flow of traffic and then tried to turn right onto East 128th Street, also against traffic, but slammed into a 2011 Volkswagen car that was waiting for the red light, police said.
"They were driving fast," said a 39-year-old witness who did not want to give his name.
"The passenger side of the Benz touched the front of the Volkswagen. The Volkswagen driver got out and was in shock," the witness said.
The Volkswagen driver wasn't injured, police said.
The Mercedes' driver hopped out of the car and fled up Madison while his two passengers ran west on 128th Street, police said.
A courts spokeswoman did not immediately have any information about the incident.