A two-car collision Thursday morning sent a vehicle careening into a Cropsey Avenue deli, culminating in the arrest of a former store employee who, authorities say, assaulted the driver.
Cops say that a 75-year-old woman was driving her Nissan Sentra near Bay 25th Street and Cropsey Avenue shortly before 9 a.m. when her car was struck by a FedEx van. Authorities say the van hit the rear of the vehicle, but witnesses allege that the driver of the commercial vehicle said she hit the car lightly and that the Nissan driver kept going — straight into the front of the Royal Deli at 2024 Cropsey Ave.
The Nissan crashed through the door and windows of the store, mangling racks of merchandise and narrowly missing two employees and a patron.
The driver then panicked and put the car in reverse, cops said, flying out of the store and striking a light pole — this time, narrowly missing pedestrians. The driver is said to have then put the car in drive a third time, ending up inside the store.
The patron inside — said by a store-owner to have been a former employee — then allegedly attacked the driver, slapping her in the face repeatedly before witnesses stopped her. A police source added that the patron removed the driver’s glasses and threw them to the ground, breaking them.
“She drove into the store and then pulled out, hit the pole and then drove back inside the store — the woman in the store just freaked out,” said a witness who wished to remain anonymous.
The car was removed by a local tow company under the supervision of the fire department and police. Neither the elderly driver nor the woman accused of assault have been identified.
The driver was taken to NYU Langone-Brooklyn to be evaluated, and the woman who hit her was arrested.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the 62nd Precinct. Formal charges were pending against the patron for the alleged attack.
The Department of Buildings was on the scene evaluating the stability of the store. Cops said that the building’s structure was since deemed safe.
Additional reporting by Meaghan McGoldrick and Helen Klein