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A driver who led police on a high-speed chase through Springfield Gardens after getting caught drag racing on the Nassau Expressway will now spend time behind bars.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced on June 18 that Juan Ramirez, 26, of West Farm Road in the Bronx, will serve six months in prison and five years’ probation after pleading guilty to reckless endangerment and other charges related to the fast-and-furious incident.

“This defendant endangered the lives of many people, not to mention himself, when he decided to race on our streets,” Brown said. “Drag racing on city streets is a disaster waiting to happen. A vehicle weighing in excess of 2,500 pounds and traveling at a high rate of speed is transformed into a potentially deadly missile. A bump in the road, the twitch of a hand or even a sneeze could have resulted in death and destruction. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated in Queens County.”

According to the charges, Ramirez was behind the wheel of a souped-up 1992 red Honda Civic on Aug. 23, 2016, at approximately 2 a.m. when a scene straight out of an episode of “Cops” unfolded.

Ramirez was observed racing with another driver along the Nassau Expressway in Queens by a police officer who initiated a car stop, turning on the vehicle’s lights and sirens and angling the car to cut off Ramirez’s path. Ramirez slowed down, pulled the Honda toward the side of the expressway, but then hit the accelerator and sped off.

A high-speed chase ensued as Ramirez led police through Springfield Gardens, exceeding 115 mph at times before crashing into a fence in a cul-de-sac. Ramirez then attempted to flee by accelerating in reverse and nearly hitting a police officer. The Honda’s bumper was caught in the fence, however, so Ramirez jumped from the car and was caught after a short foot pursuit.

Ramirez pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless endangerment and participating in an unregulated speed contest or race in April.


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