Sunday, May 29, 2011
License Plate Scanners Locate Vehicle Sought After Hit and Run
A car that was believed to have been used in a hit-and-run accident that left a traffic officer injured earlier this month was tracked down on Friday through the use of the Police Department’s growing web of license-plate-reading cameras, the authorities said.
The hit-and-run occurred on May 17 near the Manhattan Bridge, when the driver of a gray BMW hit a traffic enforcement agent who was directing traffic on Canal Street and then sped away.
The officer, who survived, suffered a separated shoulder and scraped knees, while the BMW got away and had not been seen since, said Paul J. Browne, the chief police spokesman.
Detectives later discovered that a camera had captured the BMW as it was moving on the Manhattan Bridge, headed toward Manhattan just before the incident.
Then, at 10:15 p.m. on Friday, one of the city’s roughly 240 license plate readers spotted the BMW from inside a police car on East 79th Street between First and Second Avenues, Mr. Browne said. An alarm went off, and officers pulled over the car.
Mr. Browne said that the owner and driver of the BMW, Ibrahim Yazici, refused to cooperate with investigators, retained a lawyer, and was released pending an investigation.
The car was taken to the Police Department’s Fifth Precinct in downtown Manhattan, Mr. Browne said, where detectives found damage that was consistent with the details of the hit and run.