They can run but they can’t hide


Two juveniles who led police on a late-night pursuit into Harrison, and who plowed into a light pole along the way, ended up in the cops’ custody anyway, authorities reported.

On Friday, Jan. 25, at 11:30 p.m., Kearny P.O. Derek Hemphill used his mobile data computer to check the license plate of a car, occupied by two males, parked on the 100 block of Devon St. The plate, police said, was not on file.

When Hemphill turned on the patrol car’s roof lights, the other vehicle pulled out and headed for Kearny Ave. “at a high rate of speed,” running a red light in the process, Police Chief John Dowie said.

Hemphill followed it south into East Newark, where the fleeing auto “narrowly avoided” hitting several pedestrians but succeeded in crashing into a traffic light at the intersection of Sherman Ave. and Frank E. Rodgers Blvd.

This stopped the fugitives — temporarily. When the officer approached the auto and ordered the occupants out, the vehicle again took off, heading into Harrison, with its headlights off, police said. Because of the hazardous road conditions — a freezing rain was falling — Hemphill cut off the pursuit between Bergen and Essex Sts. Harrison police, who had been alerted to the pursuit, intercepted the car on Dey St. and detained the occupants, both 17, one from Kearny and one from Belleville.

The teens were turned over to the custody of the KPD, which charged the driver with: eluding police; operating an unregistered, uninsured vehicle; being an unlicensed driver; several red-light violations; displaying fictitious plates (they belonged on an Audi and the kids were in a Toyota); and curfew violation.

He was remanded to the Hudson County Youth House.

The passenger got off easy, with only a curfew violation.

He was remanded to the custody of his mommy.

— Karen Zautyk

The Observer Staff