YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A 60-year-old Allendale man led police on a mad chase this afternoon, ramming his SUV into two police cars and injuring three officers, after a shooting in the parking lot of Foschini Park, city Police Director Michael Mordaga told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight.
James Thompson was being processed at Hackensack police headquarters tonight after being stitched up at Hackensack University Medical Center.
He was being charged with four counts of aggravated assault, as well as eluding, resisting arrest, weapons possession, leaving the scene of crashes involving injuries and a host of motor vehicle offenses, Mordaga said.
Bail was set at $500,000 for Thompson, who operates an antiques consulting company out of his Hillside Avenue home.
The gun believed used in the shooting was in his 2013 Nissan SUV, which came to a stop River and Anderson streets after Thompson deliberately rammed a marked police cruiser and an unmarked car during the chase, Mordaga said.
Another firearm turned up later at an undisclosed location, the director said — adding that it, too, belongs to Thompson.
What sparked the incident was still being figured out, Mordaga said.
A probation officer who witnessed the incident called police around 1:45 p.m. after Thompson pulled and fired a handgun during a dispute he was having with another man and a woman in the park, the director said. The male target wasn’t hit, he said.
Thompson then sped off in the Nissan.
Detective William Inglima spotted the vehicle and began chasing it moments later. Thompson then drove it over the sidewalk and through the bushes in the Hackensack Avenue parking lot of Target before emerging out the back on Main Street, Mordaga said.
“There, he saw Detective Ryan Weber’s police car and intentionally rammed it with such force that the car was totaled,” the director said. “He then drove around it and kept going.”
Just up the road, Thompson spotted Officer Rory Chapin headed toward him — and did the same to his car, Mordaga said.
He continued south on Main Street, the collapsed wheel on the front driver’s side sending sparks flying.
Thompson tried turning onto Anderson Street, but the car hit a curb and came to a stop, Mordaga said.Detective Alex Lopez-Arenas, one of several officers who fought to get the struggling suspect out of the vehicle, sustained a leg injury so minor that he was able to return to work, the director said.
Both Weber and Chapin sustained non-life-threatening injuries, as well, Mordaga said. They remained at HUMC tonight.
Detectives were interviewing the two victims at Hackensack police headquarters tonight.