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Driver who hit NYPD officer in Times Square remains at large

Last Updated Jan 16, 2018 12:19 AM EST

NEW YORK -- The search continues for a driver who struck a police officer with a car in Times Square, CBS New York reports. The incident, which happened around 11:30 p.m. Saturday on Broadway and West 53rd Street, was caught on cellphone video.

The video shows a four-door sedan zipping through Times Square, leaving a trail of smoke. A police officer then steps in front of the car near an NYPD substation, in an attempt to question the driver.

The driver instead hit the gas. The officer pulled his service weapon and was then quickly tossed to the pavement as the car takes off.

Police sources tell CBS New York they have a partial plate number on the car in question. They also learned that several car clubs planned to meet up in the area Saturday night. It wasn't immediately clear if the driver of the black Mercedes was in town for that.

"He must be crazy to do that," tour vendor Barry Abdourahamane said.

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Video captures a motorist in New York's Times Square striking an officer.

CBS New York

After clipping the cop, the driver sped off, turning onto 42nd Street. The officer and another colleague are seen running in the middle of the street with their guns drawn.

The man recording the video kept up with the police pursuit as the erratic driver continued to dodge the officers, hitting other vehicles as he made his getaway.

The driver managed to evade police as the officer who was hurt fell to his knees after pursuing the car for several blocks. Police sources tell CBS New York the car is a late-model Mercedes Benz C-63. The officer believes three to four passengers were in the car at the time of the melee.

"They're going to find him," said Passaic, New Jersey, resident Jay Veras. "They're going to find him and when they do, he's going to go to jail."

Some New Yorkers have questioned why the officers didn't shoot out the car's tires. Officials say officers are only authorized to use their weapons to stop an imminent threat to life. In this case, no shots were fired at that car.

The officer, a 26-year-old who has been with the department for 4 1/2 years, was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital with minor injuries to his back and legs, but is expected to make a full recovery.