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Car Thief Rams Police Cruiser in Getaway Attempt, Cops Say

Lincoln Park man tried to elude authorities Sunday along Route 46 in the Fairfield area, according to police.

One of two Fairfield police cruisers damaged in Sunday's pursuit. (Photo: Fairfield Police Department).
One of two Fairfield police cruisers damaged in Sunday's pursuit. (Photo: Fairfield Police Department).
A Lincoln Park man driving a stolen SUV attempted to elude officers Sunday by ramming the vehicle into marked patrol cars during a multi-town pursuit, police said.

George Smith, 50, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, eluding police, resisting arrest, possession of a weapon, two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of stolen property, possession of hypodermic syringes and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to Fairfield Deputy Chief Anthony Manna, Officer Christopher Nicholas spotted a 2002 Dodge Durango with no license plates traveling eastbound on Route 46 near the Fairfield-Montville border at about 10 a.m. Sunday.

The officer attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop when the SUV pulled into a parking lot at 125 Clinton Road, but the driver sped off back onto Clinton Road and then onto Route 46 East, Manna said.

The chase continued and the SUV "deliberately" rammed two marked Fairfield Police cars in an attempt to get away, Manna said. Smith's vehicle sustained a flat front driver's side tire in the collision but continued into Lincoln Park from Two Bridges Road, Manna said.

The Durango ultimately became disabled in a wooded area off Lincoln Boulevard and Smith got out and attempted to escape on foot before he was apprehended, Manna said.

Fairfield police officer Steven Ptaszynski slipped on ice during the pursuit and was transported to a hospital where he was evaluated and released. Smith was transported to a different hospital where he was under police guard and evaluated for injuries he suffered in the incident, Manna said.

The Durango was reported stolen from Rockaway on Feb. 24, Manna said.

Officers from Wayne, Lincoln Park, North Caldwell and Essex Fells assisted in the pursuit.
Pad March 17, 2014 at 03:49 PM
Good police work!

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