Police: Chase ended in 'life or death struggle'

Carlos Soto allegedly crashed his car into a police cruiser and then violently attacked the arresting officer. (1/28/14)

UPPER NYACK - A NYC man was arrested yesterday after a wild chase across the Tappan Zee Bridge and a ‘life or death' fight with police.

State police say they started pursuing Carlos Soto, 39, of New York City, after he was spotted driving erratically in Westchester around 12:30 p.m. and the chase continued across the bridge into Upper Nyack.

Witnesses tell News 12 Soto tried to make a U-turn after going down a dead end at Nyack Beach State Park, but crashed into an oncoming police cruiser. Soto then fled into Hook Mountain. A police spokesman says the officer in the totaled cruiser was unable to pursue Soto into the woods due to injuries, but another trooper soon caught up with Soto. The two engaged in a ‘life or death struggle' for about four minutes as the trooper sustained blows to his face. Soto allegedly ripped the trooper's Taser out of his holster and the trooper also struggled to maintain possession for his gun. The trooper was yelling for help and Clarkstown police were able to find him and helped put handcuffs on the suspect.

In a subsequent search of the Soto's car, troopers located approximately 9 grams of heroin, 2 grams of cocaine, and narcotic pills of Clonazepam inside the vehicle.

The two troopers involved in the accident and struggle were transported to Nyack Hospital where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries and have since been released.

Soto was arraigned on numerous charges and remanded to the Rockland County Jail where he will be held pending further court proceedings. Police say he has an extensive criminal record.

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