NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—North Brunswick Police Department confirmed that over a two-day span, the department executed two different motor vehicle stops that resulted in motorists leaving the stops and fleeing into New Brunswick, resulting in crashes both times.
City police were surprised to see several North Brunswick police cruisers engaged in a car chase in the Hub City on the evening of January 1.
At 8:02pm, North Brunswick police executed a motor vehicle stop at Livingston Avenue and Nassau Street, on the border of the two towns.
According to North Brunswick Police Captain Brian Hoiberg, 36-year-old Edwin Williams of New Brunswick had been pulled over but took off while officers were speaking with him.
Williams' didn't make it far, before allegedly crashing into an unmarked New Brunswick police vehicle on Joyce Kilmer Avenue, and then backing into a North Brunswick police vehicle.
According to Hoiberg, no one was injured in the crashes, which occurred at the intersection with Stratford Place, which is also known as Howard Street.
According to police radio transmissions, it was not a crash involving a New Brunswick police vehicle over the weekend. The following evening, NBPD unit #959 was damaged in a crash on Jersey Avenue.
New Brunswick Police Department did not respond to requests for information about these incidents. Police Director Anthony Caputo is insisting on eliminating the public's ability to listen to police radio transmissions in early 2016.
Williams was taken to jail and bail was set at $75,000, according to Hoiberg. He was charged with assault, possession of marijuana, eluding, and resisting arrest.
About 30 minutes later, the intersection was a crime scene and, behind the police tape, there was a vehicle parked askew with its trunk open.
It all happened quickly, just minutes after an observant city officer spotted a number of out-of-town police vehicles in the Fourth Ward of the city.
Hoiberg told New Brunswick Today that he wasn't sure if North Brunswick had "fully" notified city police of their pursuit because it had not gotten far into New Brunswick.
New Brunswick Police spotted the out-of-town officers at Joyce Kilmer and Sanford Street, some 13 blocks into the Hub City, at about 8:15pm.
"Did you have North Brunswick in town with anything?" the New Brunswick officer asked a dispatcher.
"They've got like three or four cars going down Sanford, making a left on [Joyce Kilmer]," the officer indicated.
The dispatcher confirmed they had not been notfied of any North Brunswick PD activity in the Hub City: "We haven't been told anything."
For his part, Hoiberg says his department "always" notifies other departments when a pursuit leads them into another community.
"We always do. I dont know if that notification had taken place yet… By the time our car radios our headquarters, our headquarters call their headquarters, and their headquarters puts it out on the radio, sometimes that takes a little bit of time."
The pursuit was the second time in as many days that township police pulled someone over, only to have them take off and lead them on a pursuit into New Brunswick.
On December 31 at about 2:30pm, Hoiberg says a traffic officer pulled someone over at Hermann Road and Linwood Place in North Brunswick.
"As the officer was getting ready to approach, he took off through a residential neighborhood and… into New Brunswick."
Hoiberg confirmed that shortly after township police chased the suspect into New Brunswick, they "broke off" the pursuit, meaning they stopped pursuing the suspect.
"They were advised a couple minutes later that the vehicle was involved in an accident in New Brunswick," said Hoiberg, who added that the suspect got away because no one was there to give chase.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.