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Officer shoots driver after stop on GCP: NYPD

Police said the shooting occurred on the eastbound Grand Central Parkway near LaGuardia Airport. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

A detective, who pulled over a car which police said had been driving erratically on the Grand Central Parkway early Thursday, ended up delivering a fatal shot to the driver, the NYPD said.

Members of the Emergency Service Unit Apprehension Team were driving eastbound in two unmarked vans on the center lane of the parkway near Exit 7 to LaGuardia Airport at 5:15 a.m. when they spotted a black 2012 Honda Fit Hybrid driving erratically in the right line, according to police.

The car cut between the two ESU vehicles into the left lane and then began to tailgate a car, before crossing back in between the ESU vans again to the right lane, the NYPD said.

The ESU vehicles then positioned themselves in front and back of the Honda, forcing it to pull over, police said. After the car stopped, a uniformed sergeant and detective both got out of the front van and approached the car, which was occupied by a male driver and two female passengers, according to the NYPD.

The driver, 23-year-old Corona resident Noel Polanco, had been told to show his hands but instead reached under his seat, which prompted the detective, Officer Hassan Handy, to fire into Polanco’s stomach, the New York Post reported. Police later found no weapons in the car, the Post reported.

Polanco was taken to New York Hospital Queens, where he was pronounced dead at 5:58 a.m., according to a statement from the NYPD.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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