A Bronx man was driving an estimated 100 mph on the Long Island Expressway while racing another car in a wild ride that was recorded and posted on Facebook, leading to his arrest, police said.
The video was taken by a passenger in the second of two cars as they wove in and out of traffic, darting across lanes without using signals and narrowly avoiding collisions, police said. It was first broadcast in a News 12 Long Island report, and cops credited the news station with helping to crack the case.
On Monday, police arrested Darren Anderson, 23, of Grace Avenue, outside his home about 8:45 a.m., police said.
Anderson, who was driving his mother’s blue 2009 BMW, was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and was issued a desk appearance ticket to appear for arraignment July 6 in First District Court in Hempstead.
“Only by the grace of God, nobody was killed or seriously injured as a result of this reckless behavior,” acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said during a news conference in Massapequa Park. “He’s not a professional driver. He makes a mistake and people are gonna die. . . . It’s not a NASCAR track, this is the Long Island Expressway. It’s outright insanity.”
The speeding occurred about 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the eastbound lanes of the LIE, police said. No one called 911 to report the reckless driving, said Krumpter, explaining that he thought people might be “immune to it.” But he urged drivers to call 911 in the future.
Anderson, who police described as “cooperative” at the time of his arrest, was on his way to a car rally at the BMW dealership in Westbury, police said.
“He was on his way to this rally along with many other BMW owners,” said Det. Sgt. Patrick Ryder, commanding officer of the department’s Intelligence Unit. “He pulled up alongside one. They eyed each other and it was ‘off to the races.’ ”
The video, taken from a vehicle as it follows Anderson’s mother’s BMW through traffic, shows the lead car dart from the middle lane of a crowded LIE between Exits 39 and 40 on the Roslyn Heights-East Hills border.
That video shows the lead car crossing illegally in and out of the HOV lane, at times missing other vehicles by mere inches — including cutting between cars traveling legally in side-by-side lanes as the driver maneuvers down the center of the lane dividing lines. The car that the video was taken from follows the BMW throughout.
Police were able to solve the case after News 12 Long Island directed police to the Facebook post and then the department’s intelligence analysts data-mined posts and comments to find the culprit, Ryder said.
Anderson, he said, had apparently asked the person who posted it to take it down, Ryder said.
“Take it down before I get in trouble,” Anderson commented, according to Ryder.
Police are “very close” to identifying the driver of the car following Anderson, Ryder said.
The BMW — with a dozen coconut air fresheners inside and a NASCAR fan license plate with a “Haters Gonna Hate!” license plate frame — sat in the parking lot of the Intelligence Unit Tuesday afternoon.
Krumpter said Nassau County CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and prosecution of the driver of the second car.
“I just want to take a minute and thank News 12 for their coverage and for bringing this information forward,” Krumpter said.
Anderson has an open ticket for speeding in the Bronx, Krumpter said. It was unclear whether Anderson had an attorney. Anderson could not be reached for comment.