UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — Shocking dash camera video shows an NYPD officer who was run down by a wrong-way driver on Park Avenue earlier this week.
The woman at the center of it allegedly admitted to doing it on purpose while speaking with investigators.
Officer Ruchiran Dias went to question the driver, who briefly stopped, Wednesday afternoon. The Lexus had been previously traveling south in the northbound lanes of Park Avenue. It then suddenly accelerated and struck Dias causing him to fly over the hood and onto the pavement.
Sahara Dula, 24, was in court Friday, for her arraignment on seven charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon.
In court documents she allegedly told investigators she had just smoked weed and stated “[expletive] these cops; he wouldn’t move. I told the cop I wanted to go straight, and he would not move so I hit him. I did it on purpose.”
“Knocked him straight to the ground. He could have been killed. We believe she tried to kill him,” PBA President Patrick Hendry said.
He visited Officer Dias in the hospital after suffering a broken leg and other injuries.
Hendry questions why Dula was not charged with attempted murder.
“It’s clear she tried to mow down a New York City police officer,” Hendry said, “the criminal justice system is broken.”
In court, Dula’s attorney said the Brooklyn woman suffers from bipolar disorder, is on medication, and gets mental health help. Refusing to elaborate, Patricia Wright told PIX11 News, that the details will come out in court and each defendant is “presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
Officer Dias was struck Wednesday while guarding another vehicle linked to an unrelated high-end retail robbery on Madison Avenue.
The incident happened as assaults on NYPD cops are reportedly up 40% over the past two years. “Until these people are punished for assaulting New York City police officers, they’re going to continue,” Hendry said.
Dula was ordered held on $25,000 cash bail and was jailed on Rikers Island. She is due back in court on Jan. 23.