NBCPhiladelphia.com -Ted Greenberg
John Thompson was allegedly intoxicated when police say he drove down the Atlantic City Boardwalk. According to investigators, they finally caught up to the driver when he stopped to pay a toll on the Atlantic City Expressway. Thompson is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. NBC10’s Ted Greenberg talks to some witnesses.
An alleged intoxicated driver put a scare into people on the Atlantic City Boardwalk Monday afternoon after speeding down the boardwalk sending pedestrians jumping out of the way, according to Atlantic City Police.
And, it took a tollbooth to finally put an end to the out-of-control driver, police said.
The suspect, who police later identified as John Thompson, 28, of Staten Island, N.Y., faces charges ranging from risking widespread injury to assault on a police officer to DWI.
The incident was caught on various surveillance cameras along the boardwalk.
It all started around 12:30 p.m. Monday when an A.C. police officer attempted to pull over a driver who had driven onto the boardwalk at Florida Avenue near Boardwalk Hall, police said.
Thompson proceeded to drive at a high rate of speed westbound on the boardwalk, according to police.
Police say a bicycle cop on duty was nearly hit by Thompson’s car.
“People were literally jumping out of the way, diving out of the way of the vehicle,” said Atlantic City Police Sgt. Monica McMenamin.
After about 12 blocks, Thompson pulled off the wooden way at Providence Avenue, police said.
The 28-year-old driver had offered a ride home to fellow Staten Island resident John Sulmonee, 33. Sulmonee jumped out of Thompson’s car as he drove down Iowa Avenue after he says he continuously begged the driver to stop the car after driving up on the boardwalk, according to police.
Sulmonee was hospitalized with head and foot injuries after jumping from the moving car. He was back home in New York Tuesday, according to family members.
Sulmonee told police that he and Thompson had met earlier in the day and that he accepted a ride home after realizing Thompson and him live near one another, police said.
At some point Thompson blew out a tire but that didn't stop him, police said.
Thompson’s bizarre drive finally ended on the Atlantic City Expressway at the Pleasantville Toll Plaza where police apprehended him with his arm out the window, two dollar bills in hand, trying to pay the toll, investigators said.
Thompson was being held at the county jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
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