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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Federal ICE agents fire on suspect during chase down midtown Manhattan street near McDonald's

Federal ICE agents shot at this Chevy Tahoe at a McDonald's on 10th Ave. in Manhattan Friday night.

Federal agents opened fire on a Manhattan street Friday after a suspect fled from a botched sting operation, sources and witnesses said.

Agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency were sitting inside a red van parked in a McDonald's parking lot on W. 34th St. and Tenth Ave. about 7:30 p.m., when a man walked over from another vehicle, sources and witnesses said.

The officers burst out from the van and tackled the man on the ground, but when they went for the man in the driver's seat of a silver Chevy Tahoe he hit the gas and peeled away, witnesses said.

"\[The vehicle\] sped through the parking lot and it went through the drive-thru and hopped the curb," said Dan Marobella, 25, who was visiting the city from Syracuse.

The SUV got jammed up in traffic on Tenth Ave. and officers fired three shots, each striking the vehicle and blowing out the driver's side window before it sped away, sources and witnesses said.

"He had just gone over the curb and he was stuck in traffic when they took the shot," said Tara Losurdo, 22. "It was scary. I was hiding behind two parked cabs."

Officials from ICE said that the driver attempted to run over one of the agents, causing him to shoot toward the vehicle.

An unmarked car pursued the SUV after it fled. Sources said the vehicle was found a few blocks away, but it was not immediately clear if the driver was in custody.

A source said the man nabbed at the scene and the owner of the SUV both have numerous prior arrests. It was not clear why the two men were wanted.

Marobella said the incident may change his mind about visiting the city in the future.

"It's my first time in New York," Marobella said. "I hate it here."

But others were less jarred by it all.

"I've lived here my whole life," said witness Norman McAleney, 53. "This is what happens in New York."

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