Chase ends in 5-car crash

A police chase of a suspect from Newark ended with a multi-car crash at the Nutley exit of Rt. 21 North that led to the temporary shutdown of the De Jessa Memorial Bridge and lengthy commuter tie-ups last Friday.

Nutley police responded to Park Ave., at 11:54 a.m., on the heels of a radio broadcast from Newark PD that they were in pursuit of a maroon pickup truck traveling north on Rt. 21.

Newark PD terminated the chase prior to entering Nutley but police said the pickup, driven by Clarence Bowie, 49, of Newark, continued driving at high speeds and ended up crashing into four vehicles stopped at the highway exit ramp in Nutley.

Newark PD took custody of Bowie prior to transporting him and his female passenger to University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in Newark for treatment of their injuries.

Bowie was charged by Nutley PD with aggravated assault, four counts of assault by auto, four counts of causing injury while operating a vehicle with a revoked or suspended license and with nine motor vehicle violations: driving while N.J. privileges are suspended, reckless driving, unlicensed driver, unsafe vehicle, bald passenger front tire, loaded as to spill, no visible passenger tail lamp lens or housing on vehicle, unclear plates and operating uninsured vehicle. Nutley Police Sgt. Anthony Montanari said the bridge remained closed to vehicular traffic until nearly 2 p.m. “It was a real mess,” he said.

At press time, it couldn’t be readily learned why Bowie was being pursued by Newark PD.

Among other goings-on logged by Nutley PD during the past week were these incidents:

Aug. 30 

A Walnut St. resident returning home reported finding a bag of empty beer cans left at the curb in front of their house. The resident told police this was a repetition of a similar incident that happened about two months ago.

Aug. 31 

Investigating a property damage report on Washington Ave., police said they were told by a female visiting a friend that they’d decided to “bedazzle” a resident’s vehicle by applying spray paint. Police observed several cans of spray paint on the blacktop and, after being advised they couldn’t leave the items on private property, the female removed the paint from the vehicle with a brush and nail polish remover and left the area.

A Franklin Ave. resident reported that a tree had fallen from an adjacent property, damaging a Dumpster.

Sept. 1 

A large tree branch fell on a River Road property, damaging the rear end of a resident’s 2013 Toyota. Officers removed the branch from the vehicle.

Someone stole a bicycle parked outside a Franklin Ave. business. The bike’s owner told police they were inside the store for five minutes and when they came out, the bike was gone. It was described as a custom-built Subrosa Villicus with a gray frame, green splatter pattern and purple handlebars, valued at more than $1,500.

Sept. 2 

Three incidents involving tree branches that fell from township-owned properties were reported. One large branch fell on a Nutley Ave. resident’s 2007 Toyota, damaging the rear hatch; another large branch from an unhealthy township tree was found lying in a Howard Place driveway where only last week, a grill and tables had been set up for a block party; and a large limb from a town tree on Race St. fell on a resident’s parked vehicle, scratching the front hood, roof and both sides of the vehicle, police said.

Searching for someone who’d been injured, officers discovered a broken glass storm door at the main entrance to an Essex St. residence. Police said they located the injured party checking into an area hospital for treatment. Police said he was hurt punching a window during a domestic incident for which charges are pending.

Sept. 3 

A River Road tenant told police they’d gone home to return some equipment and found the rear door kicked in but a search of the interior indicated that nothing appeared to be missing.

 Sept. 4 

A tree on county property fell, blocking Park Way, and landed atop a vehicle causing extensive damage. The Essex County Sheriff’s Department arranged to remove the limb.

Sept. 5 

A Lloyd St. resident reported that the passenger side mirror had been knocked off their parked vehicle.

Someone caused $1,200 in damage to a Washington Ave. business ATM and removed an unknown amount of money, the business owner told police. Detectives are investigating

– Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff