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Allegedly Posing as a Cop, Man Attacks Woman and Takes Her Car

John Spina Faces Attempted Murder and Other Serious Charges After Leading Police On a Chase in a Stolen Vehicle
Wick Plaza
Wick Plaza is located on Route 1 in Edison Bing Maps

EDISON, NJ—A man was arrested after allegedly attacking and carjacking a woman in the parking lot of an Edison strip mall, all while posing as a police officer.

John Spina, a 44-year-old man from Sayreville, then led actual police all the way to his hometown as they chased the stolen vehicle, before Spina crashed three times and injured himself.

The dramatic scene began to unfold on January 10 in the parking lot of the Wick Plaza shopping mall on Route 1, less than a mile from New Brunswick.

Spina is being charged with attempted murder, as the result of a head-on collision he allegedly caused, as well as the following offenses:

  • carjacking
  • aggravated assault
  • unlawful possession of a weapon (2 counts)
  • being a certain person prohibited from having a weapon due to a prior, unrelated criminal offense

Investigators determined that, shortly after 1:10 pm, Spina approached the victim's car showing a gun and a badge, before attacking the victim when she rolled down her window.

The victim, whose name was not made available, was able to flee the scene.  Police then located her vehicle and engaged in a pursuit.

The driver then sideswiped two oncoming vehicles and hitting the third vehicle head on. Mr. Spina ran off and came to halt on the side of the road. Officials say Spina was arrested after ditching the car and attempted to flee.

All the victims were treated for injuries and later released from the hospitals.

According to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO), Detective Leslie Yackel of the Edison Police Department, Detective Brian Braile of the Sayreville Police Department, and Detective Erik Larsen of the MCPO led the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Yackel at (732) 404-8609, Detective Braile at (732) 525-5432, or Detective Larsen at (732) 745-3263, as this is still an ongoing investigation.