A high-speed chase that began with the North Arlington Police Department following a vehicle at nearly 100 MPH on River Road ended with a crash that could have been a lot worse than it was, Lyndhurst Police Det. Lt. Vincent Auteri, the department’s public-information officer said.
According to Auteri:
At approximately 8:30 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 30, Officer Brian Kapp had been monitoring a radio transmission from neighboring NAPD when he learned one of their officers was in pursuit of a grey Honda Civic northbound on River Road to Riverside Avenue.
The suspect vehicle was reportedly traveling at a speed approaching 100 MPH.
The pursuit ultimately entered Lyndhurst at which time the NAPD chose to terminate their pursuit.
Officer Kapp, who was confident the actions of the driver would not end well (he was right), decided to make his way to the area of Riverside Avenue. Kapp ultimately observed the vehicle as it continued to travel recklessly and at an excessively high rate of speed northbound on Riverside Avenue, near Roosevelt Avenue.
Unfortunately, Officer Kapp’s suspicions came to fruition when the speeding vehicle slammed into a pillar resting near a gas pump at the Exxon at 555 Riverside Ave.
Upon his approach, Officer Kapp could see the driver of the suspect vehicle, identified later as Byron Hernandez, 18, of Elizabeth, exit the car and proceed to enter the attached Exxon convenience store.
Once on scene, Officer Kapp found a 17 year-old female in the vehicle, whom Kapp assisted to safety. She sustained a laceration to the head and complained of pain to her leg, Auteri says.
Hernandez later appeared from the store and was immediately taken into custody by Kapp, who was assisted by responding Lyndhurst Officers Michael D’Allesandro and Nicolette Villani and North Arlington Officer Chris Redmond.
The damage from the impact eventually caused the vehicle engine to begin to smoke before a small flame appeared. Officer Kapp used a fire extinguisher to put out the small fire. The Lyndhurst Fire Department respond minutes later and rendered complete fire-suppression activities. The Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad (EMS) treated the juvenile before transporting her to Hackensack University Medical Center for treatment.
Police say a bag containing green vegetation — believed to be marijuana — was later found in the car.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Investigation Unit and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Unit responded to assist with the investigation.
The vehicle had been stolen overnight in Elizabeth, Auteri says.
Hernandez was issued multiple summonses for motor vehicle violations and charged with eluding, receiving stolen property and possession of marijuana by the North Arlington Police Department and with assault by auto by the Lyndhurst Police Department.
He was released on his own recognizance on a complaint summons with a court appearance scheduled for early September.
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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.