Man Sentenced to 11 Years Prison After Union Square High-Speed Chase

Man Sentenced to 11 Years Prison After Union Square High-Speed Chase
Amelia Pang

NEW YORK— A man who stole a taxi and drove at 80 mph from the Lower East Side through Soho and Greenwich Village was sentenced to 11 years in prison Wednesday.

Michael Findley, 33, was convicted of robbery, grand larceny, and stolen property for his 25-minute joyride on one drunken February evening in 2011.

The California native led the police on a high-speed car chase through red lights and into oncoming traffic. The chase ended when Findley crashed into a light pole at Union Square and 15th Street, according to DNA info.

“This defendant stole a taxi cab and recklessly sped for more than 30 blocks through the streets of New York, endangering the lives of everyone who had the misfortune to cross his path,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said in a statement. “It is a miracle that no bystanders were seriously hurt that night.”

Findley, who defended himself after discharging his court-appointed attorney, said he has an IQ of 165 but was under the influence of cocaine at the time of the chase.

Findley is currently held on Rikers Island and will be transferred to state prison.

Amelia Pang is a New York-based, award-winning journalist. She covers local news and specializes in long-form, narrative writing. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and global studies from the New School. Subscribe to her newsletter: