Woman Drives Into NYPD Officer And Claims She Wanted To ‘Teach Him A Lesson’

By Ethan Cole on
 January 21, 2024

In a shocking turn of events, Sahara Dula, a 24-year-old drug safety mentor, was arrested after ramming her car into an NYPD officer while under the influence of marijuana. This brazen attack occurred in broad daylight on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

The incident began when Dula was spotted driving down the wrong side of the street.

As the officer approached her vehicle, Dula accelerated, hitting him and sending him sprawling over the hood of her car and into the road.

Background of the Accused

Sahara Dula, a Brooklyn resident, has a history of mentoring kids to stay off drugs. Her educational background includes a degree in criminal justice and communications from New England College. Despite her role as a mentor, Dula's actions on this day were in stark contrast to the values she purportedly promotes.

Upon her arrest, Dula shockingly admitted to hitting the officer on purpose. She was quoted saying, "I told the cop I wanted to go straight, and he wouldn't move, so I hit him. I did it on purpose." These words, as reported in court papers, paint a disturbing picture of her intentions.

Charged with first-degree attempted assault and operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, Dula's actions have sparked a debate over the adequacy of the charges. Some are questioning why she wasn't charged with attempted murder, given the deliberate nature of her actions.

Context of the Incident

The collision occurred amidst a larger police operation. NYPD officers were responding to a smash-and-grab robbery involving several thieves who stole around $10,000 worth of clothes and items from a high-end retailer.

The chase led to a partial road closure, which Dula ignored, opting instead to drive down the wrong side of the road, Daily Mail reported.

As the officer approached Dula's car to direct her to the correct lane, a person in the dashcam footage can be heard warning the officer to "be careful." Moments later, Dula slammed the gas pedal, causing a violent collision with the officer.

Witnesses described the aftermath, where Dula allegedly expressed disdain for the police. Her comments post-incident further fueled public outrage and concern for the safety of law enforcement officers.

The Legal Proceedings and Community Reaction

During Dula’s arraignment, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Lucy Shephard emphasized the gravity of the situation, noting Dula's admission to smoking marijuana before the incident. Evidence supporting this claim, including marijuana and rolling papers, was found in her car.

Following the prosecutor's request for a $100,000 bail due to the egregious nature of the attack, the judge reduced the bail to $25,000. This decision has not been without controversy, with many, including the Police Benevolent Association, calling for more severe charges and consequences.

The injured officer suffered a broken leg and bruising, highlighting the physical toll of the attack. This incident has not only caused physical harm but also raised significant concerns about the treatment of law enforcement and the consequences of such violent actions.

The dashcam footage of the incident has since gone viral, highlighting the severity of the situation, you can watch the video here.

Previous Incidents and Personal Background

Sahara Dula's past is marked by previous arrests, including a charge of criminal mischief in March 2022. She was accused of damaging property near Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal Mall. However, the charges in this case were later dropped.

In addition to her New York arrests, Dula also had encounters with law enforcement in New Hampshire. Her record includes an incident in 2020, where she failed to stop at an intersection and subsequently tried to flee the scene after a collision.

Her attorney, Patricia Wright, spoke of Dula's efforts to move away from her troubled past in New Hampshire. Wright mentioned Dula's bipolar disorder and her work running a company that mentors kids through music. However, the building manager of her Brooklyn apartment described her as unfriendly and noted her frequent marijuana use.

Community and Law Enforcement's Response

Patrick Hendry, President of the Police Benevolent Association, expressed frustration at the leniency shown in Dula's case. In a statement, he said, "She tried to run down and kill a New York City police officer. She proudly admits it, but she still isn’t facing the maximum penalty."

Hendry's statement reflects a broader sentiment among law enforcement and community members. There is a growing concern over the safety of police officers and the perceived leniency towards those who attack them.

The Association's resolve to follow this case closely and ensure justice is served signifies a larger issue of respect and protection for those in uniform, tasked with maintaining public safety.

  • A shocking incident occurred when Sahara Dula, under the influence of marijuana, rammed her car into an NYPD officer.
  • Dula, a drug safety mentor with a degree in criminal justice, was charged with attempted assault and impaired operation of a vehicle.
  • Witnesses and dashcam footage captured the deliberate nature of the attack, leading to public outcry and debate over the charges.
  • The incident took place amidst a police operation responding to a nearby robbery, complicating the situation.
  • The injured officer sustained significant injuries, while the legal and community response to the incident continues to evolve.
  • Previous arrests and the personal history of Dula paint a complex picture of the accused.
  • Law enforcement and community leaders are calling for stricter penalties and highlighting the need for greater protection of officers.

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