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Bridge And Tunnel Officers Corral Parole Violator

A team of MTA Bridge and Tunnel Officers is credited with arresting a parole violator with several outstanding felony warrants after corralling him inside the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.

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The suspect was taken to the 76th Precinct in Brooklyn after his 8:30 a.m. arrest and initially charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, operating with a suspended license and other charges. The NYPD Warrant Squad was also notified since the suspect was wanted on two outstanding felony warrants. His identity had not been confirmed yet because he was using as many as eight aliases.

"This was an outstanding, cooperative effort on the part of our officers at the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and an example of how routine police work can help remove potentially dangerous suspects from our streets," said Bridges and Tunnels Vice President and Chief of Operations James Fortunato.

The incident occurred during the May 8th morning rush when the suspect was pulled over for an HOV lane violation and was questioned by Bridge and Tunnel Officer Bruce Eikeseth.

The suspect suddenly floored the gas pedal and took off across the center median dividing the two tunnels, almost striking Officer Shawn Rutz. Despite Officer Rutz's attempt to stop him, the suspect continued driving into the east tube, which has two lanes heading into Manhattan.

Once inside, the suspect drove recklessly, changing lanes several times with enough speed and force to rip off his front bumper, according to Bridges and Tunnels Sgt. John Frammarino, the ranking officer at the scene.

At the same time, Officer Eikeseth radioed Bridge and Tunnel Officer Luc Gustave at the patrol post at the Manhattan side of the tunnel and gave a description of the fleeing Honda Accord.

Bridge and Tunnel Officer (BTO) Steven Panarella was driving his patrol car ahead of the suspect inside the tunnel and stopped traffic while Officers Ricardo Diaz, Andrew Peeples, and Luc Gustave entered the tube from the Manhattan side.

Realizing he was cornered, the suspect shut his car off and tried to climb onto the narrow walkway inside the tunnel. When this failed, he tried to get into another motorist's car, but this also failed, Frammarino said.

Gustave, Diaz and Peeples entered the tube shouting at the suspect to get back in his car as Frammarino was able to get close to him from the walkway on the opposite side of the tunnel. The suspect, who was pacing and talking on his cell phone but no longer trying to flee, was handcuffed and placed under arrest.

"Each one did a phenomenal job and should be commended," said Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel General Manager Marc Mende. "We're extremely proud of the work they did here today."

Also called MTA Bridges and Tunnels, the agency's legal operating name is Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.