Mon Dieu! French Tourists Start New York Trip with Car Chase

It was, she said later, like something out of a film. Moments after Ester-Ethy Mamane landed at JFK yesterday, she and four other French tourists, including her 60-year-old mother, were guided into a waiting van that was supposed to shuttle them into town. The trouble started a few minutes later, as Port Authority cops realized the van was not an authorized shuttle and tried to grab the keys from the driver, Khaalis Preacher.

With the tourists settled neatly inside, Preacher floored it, knocking a PA cop to the ground. A seven-mile chase through the streets of Queens and Brooklyn ensued, with the police in hot pursuit.

"It went very, very fast. We're going zoom, zoom, zoom," fellow passenger Gwen Dulugat told the New York Post.

According to Mamane, the French passengers "screamed and prayed" the entire time. The adventure ended after the van barreled through the mechanical gate arm at a US Postal Service facility in East New York and crashed into a postal truck.

Preacher and his accomplice were arrested. One of the tourists injured her arm while trying to jump from the van while it was still moving.

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