Authorities: Wig wearing woman leads cops on high-speed chase

A high-speed police chase involving a wig-wearing woman, that started in Clifton, ended in Kearny when the driver of a fleeing vehicle made her way onto a dead end off Bergen Avenue, the Clifton Police Department announced last week.

According to the Clifton PD:

On Wednesday, Jan. 16, at approximately 6:30 p.m., Clifton officers responded to Applebee’s on Rt. 3 — Clifton Commons — on a theft-of-services report.

Four individuals — two women and two men — reportedly accumulated a tab and left without paying it. They took off on foot toward the nearby Stop & Shop; however, one of the men was detained by employees a short distance from the restaurant.

The three additional suspects remained at-large, and as a result, responding patrol units began searching the area. A short time later, a Toyota Prius, which was occupied by both female suspects, was spotted and stopped while driving the wrong way near the exit to the Clifton Commons.

While officers were interviewing the women, there was an initial discrepancy as to their identity, as they didn’t entirely match the description provided. It was subsequently determined that was because whilst dining, the two ladies were wearing wigs they subsequently removed.

Later, one of the officers was in the process of retrieving the driver’s credentials when he saw the wigs in the car.

Once the driver realized the officer noticed the wigs, she sped away while the officer’s arm was still inside the vehicle. She dragged him approximately 50 feet before he was able to free himself.

At that time, a motor-vehicle pursuit began with additional Clifton units giving chase. The pursuit continued at high speed eastbound on Rt. 3 and then onto the NJ Turnpike south. At one point, a Clifton unit was involved in a crash with a vehicle — not involved in the chase — on the Turnpike.

The pursuit continued on the Turnpike and eventually onto Rt. 280 West at Exit 15W, during which time the driver continued to operate the vehicle recklessly and at high speeds. The pursuit continued onto Bergen Avenue in Kearny, at which time the suspect vehicle struck a third-party vehicle head on.

The suspect’s vehicle sustained heavy front-end damage; however, the driver still refused to stop. The pursuit continued onto the dead end of Ivy Street and eventually into the Franklin School yard, where a brick wall prohibited the vehicle from traveling any further.

At that time, Clifton Sgt. Joshin Smith, the only unit still involved in the pursuit, was was able to place both female suspects under arrest and into custody.

The two women were subsequently transported to Clifton PD headquarters, where they were processed and charged. The man who was detained by employees, and the second male suspect, who had been arrested at the commons by a Clifton officer while the pursuit was taking place, were also taken to HQ.

The suspects were identified as:

  • Chante Royal, 19, of Montclair, the driver, who was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, eluding, aggravated assault on police, robbery and CDS-related charges;
  • Jasmine Ramsey, 18, of Orange, who was charged with theft of services;
  • Dellmicah Dennis, 18, of East Orange, who was charged with theft of services and
  • Damian Negron, 18, of Montclair, who was charged with theft of services and hindering apprehension.

Despite the two crashes, police say there were no serious injuries.

Meanwhile, on the Kearny end of things:

Officer Jose Castillo handled the accident investigation at the intersection of Bergen and Harrison avenues, according to Capt. Timothy Wagner, the KPD’s public-information officer. Castillo’s report indicates that Royal reportedly made a wide-right turn onto Bergen Avenue from Harrison Avenue while eluding a Clifton radio car when she struck a Toyota Prius that was stopped in the left-turn lane on Bergen Avenue before being apprehended on Ivy Street at Franklin School.

Officer Castillo issued Royal the following traffic summonses based on his investigation of the crash: reckless driving, careless driving, leaving scene of accident, failure to report accident and passenger restriction. These summonses come on top of the Clifton charges.

KPD Officer Giovanni Rodriguez, one of the department’s female officers, responded to Franklin School to assist the Clifton PD by searching Royal and Ramsey.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.