The father of the Ohio teen arrested Friday with an AK-47-style assault rifle in the Times Square subway station was killed in a shootout with cops last month after fleeing in his car the wrong way down a busy interstate, police sources told the New York Post and NBC News.
Details about the father of Saadiq Teague have come out as questions swirl about what the 18-year-old was doing in New York City and why he was carrying a weapon. Police have so far released scant details about the young man’s plans or his possible motivation, pending further investigation.
At the beginning of March, Columbus police tried to arrest Andrew Teague, Saadiq’s father, on a warrant for felonious assault. According to court documents cited at the time by local NBC affiliate WCMH, Teague was wanted over a Feb. 2 incident in which he allegedly fired more than a dozen shots at his brother.
Around 3 p.m. on March 5, Columbus police officers tried to pull Teague over in his car, but he attempted to outrun them. After supervisors instructed the officers to call off the pursuit, a Columbus PD helicopter tracked Teague for more than an hour. When a sheriff’s deputy pulled up behind Teague, who was stopped, he made a U-turn and pulled onto I-287, driving against the flow of traffic at speeds up to 85 mph. A few minutes later, Teague smashed head-on into a car, careening into two other vehicles before finally coming to a stop.
“My adrenaline was rushing so badly,” one of the drivers, Jeffrey Scales, told WSYX. “My first instinct was to get out of the car before it exploded...I actually couldn't get out of the front door. It peeled the side of my car back, so I had to climb out the back seat.”
Scales and the people in the other two vehicles did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
At that point, Teague bailed out of his own car, leading officers on a foot chase down the shoulder of the interstate. Cops said they opened fire when Teague crouched down as if he was about to start shooting at them. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
A weapon was recovered at the scene that is believed to have been in Teague’s possession, Chief Deputy Jim Gilbert of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference at the time.
Teague was on parole at the time, a cousin told the Post, saying his parole officer had driven him “ to the edge.” “He kind of went out the only way he could,” the cousin said.
Less than six weeks after Teague’s death, his teenage son would make headlines for his own run-in with the law.
Saadiq Teague was arrested April 16 around 12:30 p.m. by NYPD transit officers on patrol in the Times Square subway station after spotting him with an AK-47. Cops said Teague was sitting quietly, charging his cell phone, with the rifle beside him.
Although the rifle was unloaded, authorities said Teague had a fully loaded magazine in his backpack along with a gas mask they later conceded may have been part of a bong found in the teen’s hotel room. Teague reportedly told police he thought it was legal to carry an unloaded weapon in New York City if the ammunition was stored separately. Teague was visiting the city with a friend, according to police. Video posted on the young man’s Instagram page showed him strolling around the city with the AK sticking out of his backpack. Other clips appeared to show Teague and another person harassing sleeping subway riders, slapping one and throwing water on another.
“This story could’ve had a tragically different ending, but thanks to these diligent cops it ends with the suspect in handcuffs,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted after Saadiq Teague’s arrest.
Saadiq’s story certainly had a happier ending than his father’s, who was known to family and friends as Drew.
“As we reflect on Andrew and his life, you realize that every relation was one of uniqueness,” read an obituary posted on a funeral page for Andrew Teague. “He apparently had this hidden gift of making people feel that they alone filled his heart, not realizing that there were many special areas in his heart just for each one of us...Andrew was full of life and spoke excitedly about erecting family owned businesses. He spoke of mentoring and reentry programs as well as graphic art and printing. All in the name of family. Unfortunately this misfortune has taken him out the plan physically, but not out the plan itself.”
An online fundraiser launched by Teague’s family to help pay for funeral expenses fell short of its $5,000 goal, collecting just $475.“We are all devastated by the loss of Drew and were not prepared for the high cost of a funeral service,” the GoFundMe campaign explained. “We want to give Drew the memorial he deserves, to honor his memory and say our last goodbyes.”