A Queens man who involved police in a brief but a violent struggle after a traffic stop is allegedly responsible for a string of robberies on Long Island, police said.
According to police, Ethan Johnson, 24, of 226th Street in Laurelton was driving a 2017 Audi and committed several driving violations. Police stopped him near 420 Nassau Road in Roosevelt around 5 p.m. on July 12.
Johnson attempted to drive away and ignored all verbal commands by police to stop, police said, they entered his vehicle to prevent him from leaving. A brief violent struggle ensued after Johnson opened a glove box and reached for a .22 caliber handgun, according to police.
Johnson was then taken into police custody. No injuries were reported.
After detectives learned Johnson was driving a stolen 2017 Audi, the subsequent investigation uncovered that he could be responsible for five motor vehicle tire and rim thefts across Nassau County.
On March 6, 2015, four rims and tires were stolen from a 2015 Honda parked on Williams Street in Williston Park.
On Feb. 18, 2016, four tires and rims were taken from a 2015 Infiniti parked on Elderberry Road in North Bellmore.
On Feb. 25, 2016, four tires and rims were removed from a 2015 Mercedes Benz parked on Causeway in Lawrence.
On Feb. 26, 2016, four tires and rims were stolen from a 2014 Mercedes Benz parked on Scherer Boulevard in Franklin Square.
On April 26, 2016, four tires and rims were taken from a 2015 Mercedes Benz parked on Atlantic Avenue in Garden City.
Johnson is charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, four counts of third-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree grand larceny.
He was arraigned on Thursday at First District Court in Hempstead.