For 10 harrowing minutes on Union Road early Saturday morning, Donald Driscoll dodged and weaved as the drivers of two cars repeatedly tried to cut him off and run him off the nearly deserted street.
The abusers picked on the wrong guy.
Driscoll is a West Seneca police officer, and although he was off-duty, he had a two-way radio in his car and the presence of mind to get help.
He was able to reach the Cheektowaga police, who responded and stopped the two cars. The four men in the vehicles turned out to be wanted in Rochester for a gunpoint carjacking -- perhaps several.
"They kept cutting me off and coming within inches of hitting my car," said Driscoll, who helped make the arrests after a foot chase. "The only reason we didn't collide is I kept slamming on my brakes and veering out of their way, otherwise they would have hit me."
In making the arrests, Cheektowaga police also recovered two stolen cars -- one of which had been taken at gunpoint.
Police said the four men spotted Driscoll driving alone in Cheektowaga in the early morning darkness.
"I think these guys saw one lonely guy driving down Union Road at 4 in the morning and said, 'Let's have some fun. Let's pick on him,' " Driscoll said. "I sure don't think they knew I was a police officer."
Cheektowaga officers arrested Jerome Whitson, 22, and Gary Blocker, 20, both of Brockport, who were in one car and Calvin Whitson, 20, of Rochester and John Geska, 18, of Brockport. Both of the vehicles were stolen, police said.
The four were charged with possession of stolen property and resisting arrest, and the case remains under investigation. Authorities said they are investigating the possible involvement of the men in a number of carjackings in the Rochester area.
Driscoll was driving from West Seneca to his home in Lancaster and was on Union Road near Genesee Street at about 4 a.m. when he spotted two cars "being driven very erratically."
"I had been out with a buddy and I was like the designated driver for the night. I had dropped him off and I was alone," Driscoll said. "I did not have my gun with me. First, I saw these two cars being driven in a very reckless manner. Then, the drivers of the two cars started pulling up along side my car and trying to ram me off the road."
Although he had no gun with him, Driscoll is a volunteer emergency medical technician, so he carries a two-way radio in his private car. The radio allows him to keep in contact with Lancaster police and fire dispatchers.
"I radioed the Lancaster dispatcher. She called the Cheektowaga police and told them what was going on," Driscoll said. "I just kind of followed these guys. I tried to stay back from them, but they kept trying to ram my car. I kept telling the dispatcher what was going on, and she relayed the information to Cheektowaga (police)."
Driscoll said the four drove briefly into West Seneca, then turned around in a parking lot and headed back into Cheektowaga. Back at Union and Genesee, Cheektowaga officers arrived and began chasing the two stolen cars.
Two of the men jumped out of their car and began running through a cemetery, where Driscoll got out of his car and helped Cheektowaga officers capture them.
"I chased one guy and caught them. I wrestled with him, then I sat on his back until help arrived," Driscoll said.
Two of the other men were arrested soon after, and a fourth was picked up about an hour later, when police spotted him in a phone booth at the Airport Plaza, according to arresting Officers Thomas Allen and Rick Roll.
"The Cheektowaga police and the Lancaster dispatcher (Sharon Brooks) did a tremendous job," Driscoll said.
No weapons were found on any of the suspects, police said. Investigators said they do not know why the four suspects came to Cheektowaga in the stolen cars.