The terrifying drama began at about 3:40 a.m. when the officer was writing a ticket in the Bank Street municipal lot. Police said Saunders, who has a long criminal record, walked up and demanded that she give him a ride and money. When she refused, Saunders allegedly opened the door to the city-owned 2009 Ford Focus, shoved the PEO against the center console, and got in.
Crushed between the console and the 6-foot, 2-inch Saunders, who police said weighs 240 lbs., the diminutive, 100 lbs. PEO tried to fight him off, police said.
Cops said Saunders drove the car across Hamilton Avenue and onto the sidewalk, smashing into a fence. He then got out of the car and flagged down a newspaper delivery man, who police said stopped when he saw the smashed up Ford, thinking that a city employee was in an accident.
At that point, police said, the PEO radioed for help as Saunders tried to pull the deliveryman out of his car. The deliveryman fought him off, and police arrived moments later, arresting Saunders as he tried to run away.