French Tourists In NYC Police Chase From Kennedy Airport

07/25/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Five French tourists got a harrowing start to their New York visit: a wild police chase.

Authorities say the visitors mistakenly followed a hustler to an unlicensed van at Kennedy Airport.

A policeman reached through the window to take the keys. But the driver sped off, knocking the officer to the ground. Other police gave chase.

Esther-Ethy Mamane of Paris told the New York Post that she and her fellow passengers "screamed and prayed."

She says it was "like something from a film."

The van sped along a highway and residential streets, hitting a gate and a truck. The suspects jumped out while the van was still moving. Officers, with guns drawn, quickly arrested them.

One passenger suffered an arm injury.