Suspect charged with attempted murder in Times Square

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- The two suspects arrested in connection with a traffic stop in Times Square over the weekend that left an NYPD officer injured made their first court appearance Thursday.

Authorities believe 20-year-old Arfhy Santos was driving the vehicle that struck the officer while fleeing the scene, and that 24-year-old William Lopez was the passenger. Both are from the Bronx. Santos is charged with attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment, while Lopez is charged with reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

The suspects were taken into custody Wednesday, just hours after police publicly identified them and released their photos.

"We had over 20 tips on this in a very short time," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. "People were concerned."

Lopez is reportedly the owner of the Mercedes and has at least three prior arrest. Santos has eight prior arrests, some of which are sealed because he was a juvenile. They were arrested on 144th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues in Harlem. Police said they were in an apartment and tried to escape out a window.

And this isn't the first time the suspects have pulled off a stunt like this. In 2016, police say Santos did a copycat move, nearly hitting officers and running a dozen red lights in Washington Heights. And just a day before the Times Square incident, police say Lopez fled a traffic stop in the same Mercedes, taking off on the sidewalk and nearly hitting officers and people. Additionally, they say officer discovered Lopez had souped up his car with a device that covered his back license plate during a traffic stop in June.

"You hold down your brake and gas pedal and hit the gear as hard as you can," Boyce said. "It slows your brakes and you skid down the street. Idiots do it."

The Times Square incident, which was caught on video, happened in the heart of the Crossroads of the World around 11:45 p.m. Saturday.

Authorities say the officer approached a vehicle that was driving recklessly near 234 West 42nd Street, but the driver fled the scene after initially stopping.

The black four-door sedan fled westbound on 42nd Street, towards Eighth Avenue, clipping the officer. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries to his legs and back.

The officer, whose name has not been released, is recovering.

"I would say he's a brave officer," Aubry said. "His instincts took over. There's a car with its wheels spinning, could have gone out of control, could have hit people. And he did what he was taught to do. He stepped in harm's way, and he attempted to stop that vehicle."

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