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Police: Kenyatta Jackson of Hempstead arrested, 2 men flee after robbery; pursuit ends with cop injured

A Hempstead woman driving the getaway car in a high-speed police pursuit through several Nassau communities was arrested and two suspects remained on the loose after a Monday night robbery and chase that ended in a crash, injuring a police officer, authorities said Tuesday.

Hempstead Village Police Chief Michael McGowan said the pursuit began in Hempstead and wound through Uniondale, East Meadow and the Wantagh State Parkway before the woman hit a guardrail, causing a Hempstead patrol car to strike the vehicle.

The driver of the patrol car, Officer William Falk, suffered a broken ankle, police said.

Driver Kenyatta Jackson, 30, of Hempstead was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawfully fleeing police, McGowan said.

Two men suspected of taking part in the robbery fled after the crash, police said.

Jackson's son, 11, was in the backseat of the car, but was not injured, McGowan said. He was turned over to his aunt. Hempstead Lt. Natisha Robinson said Child Protective Services is reviewing the case.

Asked whether police should have engaged in a high-speed chase through busy streets, McGowan said: "All the factors come into play. Armed robbery is a serious crime. Because we have so much gun violence, we certainly want to take guns off the street."

Police said the robbery victim, whose name was not released, met Jackson and an unidentified man at a car body shop in Uniondale earlier Monday. The victim was selling Nike Air Jordan sneakers for $100 each, and Jackson and the man asked for his phone number so they could meet later to buy them, McGowan said.

They met about 10:30 p.m. at a gas station in Hempstead and the man and Jackson told the victim to drive his car onto a side street, McGowan said.

McGowan said the victim got out of a BMW and the man and Jackson got out of a Dodge Charger. McGowan said another man suddenly got out of the Charger with a gun and handcuffs, telling the victim: "We're the police! Freeze!"

"They proceed to rob him of two pairs of sneakers and $500 in cash," McGowan said.

The victim, who had his car key fob in his pocket, took off running, McGowan said, and the suspects tried to steal the BMW but couldn't start it.

They left in the Charger and the victim jumped into the BMW, chased them and called Hempstead cops. He gave police a description of the Charger, prompting the chase, which included at least three Hempstead police cars, McGowan said.

During the chase, someone "threw the gun out of the window," McGowan said.

The pursuit proceeded onto Old Country Road and then Wantagh State Parkway, where the Charger "drove south at a high rate of speed," McGowan said.

"At one point, the vehicle hit the guardrail," he said. "They jammed on their breaks, causing the pursuing Hempstead marked car to hit the Charger. The two males get out and run through the woods."

With John Valenti

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