By Joe Anuta
A group of NYPD narcotics officers stopped to help two fellow cops with a College Point arrest Wednesday night until they realized the plainclothes duo were imposters in the middle of a possible drug robbery, the head of the 109th Precinct Council said.
A massive manhunt for the impersonators ensued, complete with dogs and a helicopter that scoured the area with a searchlight, according to the council. The NYPD cast its net across the Whitestone Expressway, with residents reporting police activity as far as 150th Street and 9th Avenue in Whitestone.
The hunt began about 9:15 p.m. in downtown College Point after the two suspects imitated the city’s Finest and pulled over a car containing a substantial amount of marijuana, according to Precinct Council President Chrissy Voskerichian. When the narcotics officers stopped and got out to assist, the pair fled in a third vehicle, leaving their first set of wheels behind. The man driving the drug-laden auto was arrested, according to Voskerichian, and police have both his car and the car used by the two suspects.
“It could have been a very tragic situation. The officers could have even been killed,” she said.
It was unclear as of Thursday night if any more suspects had been taken into custody.
Robert Valerio, who owns a restaurant near the corner of College Point Boulevard and 15th Avenue, said police descended upon a nearby pizzeria parking lot soon after the chase began.
“There are a lot of drugs going on in this area right now,” he said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4566.