An accused car thief who’s been busted 35 times before allegedly ran over an NYPD officer’s foot — drawing gunfire from the cop’s partner — in Brooklyn early Wednesday, police said.
The 75th Precinct officers approached the stolen white BMW SUV at the corner of Pennsylvania and Cozine avenues in East New York around 3:30 a.m. after it was tracked there by its owner using a tracking app.
One officer walked toward the car from the front and the other approached from the rear to try to keep the driver from fleeing, police said.
But the 30-year-old, identified as Justin Santiago, of Staten Island, allegedly reversed the car and then quickly threw it into drive, running over Officer Thomas Costigan’s foot in the process, according to police.
The injured cop’s partner, Officer Robert Delaney, 35, “fearing the suspect would further drag the officer,” discharged one round from his gun, police said. Nobody was struck by the bullet.
A police source said Delaney may have been concerned that his partner could’ve been dragged similar to another incident in 2017.
“It’s a terrible position to be in for a cop,” the source said. “He could have seen a Dalsh Veve situation in his mind.”
The vehicle was tracked and located at 95th Avenue and 85th Street in the neighboring 102nd Precinct of Queens, cops said.
It was parked and unoccupied, but cops noticed a “suspicious person” nearby and chased Santiago a short distance before arresting him. Charges were pending.
Santiago’s prior arrests include numerous petit larcenies, aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, forgery, grand larceny auto, unauthorized use of a vehicle, grand larceny, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, aggravated harassment and criminal possession of stolen property, police sources said.
The cops were taken to Kings County Hospital — Costigan, 32, for a foot injury and Delaney for tinnitus, police said. Santiago was taken to Brookdale Hospital for a shoulder injury, police said. It wasn’t immediately clear how he was injured.
Last month, a driver struck an officer who tried to stop him in Queens, police said.