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NYPD arrests 2 in connection with hit-and-run of officer in Times Square

Car strikes officer

NEW YORK -- Two people have been arrested in connection with the hit-and-run of a police officer in Times Square, CBS New York reports. The NYPD says Arfhy Santos, 20, and William Lopez, 24, were arrested Wednesday afternoon in New York. They are both from the Bronx and are part of a car club, NYPD says.

The officer was struck while trying to stop a black 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-63 around 11:30 p.m. Saturday on Broadway and West 43rd Street. The car was seen crossing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Monday night, police sources said.

NYPD officials gave a press briefing Wednesday night and reported that the vehicle was not in police custody.

"The Mercedes made a wide right turn on 42nd Street, it went around a truck, it hit into several vehicles as it was attempted to escape. And then from 42nd Street it heads toward the West Side," Chief of Manhattan Detectives William Aubry said.

Arfhy Santos, 20, and William Lopez, 24, have been arrested in the hit-and-run of an NYPD officer in Times Square. NYPD

"It took a lot of courage for that police officer to stand there," NYPD official said, and the officer's instincts took over.

Lopez is the owner of the car and Santos drove it, NYPD says.

After clipping the cop, the driver sped off, turning onto 42nd Street. The officer and another colleague ran down the street with their guns drawn, trying to chase the driver, who hit other vehicles as he made his getaway.

Police said Santos and Lopez have criminal pasts.

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

"Based on past actions of these two people, they don't just give up, they don't just surrender, they try to escape and they use a vehicle as a weapon to do so," Aubry said. "That's in their history that we looked at. They use whatever means they can to flee that scene."

"These are men that drive these cars, and, as you've seen on the video, they don't just stop for a police officer," he added.

The officer who was hit, a four-year veteran of the force, suffered minor leg and back injuries. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Police asked for the public's help tracking down the four-door sedan, which likely has damage to its passenger side.

Charges against Santos and Lopez are pending. 

Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website or by texting a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.