An alleged drunk driver slammed into the famed arch at Washington Square Park early Sunday — injuring an NYPD officer who was parked under the landmark, law enforcement sources said.
Both the officer and the driver suffered non-life-threatening head injuries in the dramatic crash, sources said. The officer’s back and neck were also hurt, sources said.
The driver was left unharmed enough to stumble from his wreck, blood dripping from his nose, and shout “Suck my d—” at a New York Post photographer.
But while the driver’s Nissan Maxima was totaled, the officer’s vehicle — a subcompact “Smart Car” — was relatively unscathed. And the Nineteenth Century marble arch was undamaged.
The crash happened on the north end of the Greenwich Village park just before 2 a.m.
The driver, who was barrelling down Fifth Avenue, failed to turn his Maxima onto Washington Square North, according to law enforcement sources and witnesses.
Instead, he plowed straight through a row of metal barricades and into the parked Smart car of the officer tasked with guarding the arch, the sources said.
“We heard a loud screeching,” witness Maurice Russo, 24, told The Post.
“I saw the car go full speed, very fast, right into where that cop car was. I saw the impact,” said Russo, who lives nearby.
“The car was going at highway speed,” he estimated.
“I saw one of the officers rightfully pull out his gun … He just said, ‘Stay on the ground! Stay on the ground!’ to the guy who was driving the car that crashed,” Russo said.
The injured officer remained in the Smart car until EMS arrived, he said.
“The cop was taken out on a stretcher — he had a neck brace on,” Russo said of the injured officer.
The driver was taken into custody, and charges were pending early Sunday.
Additional reporting by Laura Italiano
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