YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A grand jury has returned an indictment against a Mahwah man who authorities said crashed his car during a police chase and then acted as if as if he had a gun in his waistband — threatening to use it — in an intense drama that played out on the side of the Garden State Parkway.
Officers privately told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time that Jabari Dickson appeared clearly intent on commiting suicide by cop but wasn’t given the satisfaction.
Dickson was doing 85 miles an hour on southbound Route 17 around 3 a.m. July 7 when Sgt. Michael LaCroix tried stopping his 1998 Nissan Sentra, Ho-Ho-Kus Police Chief John Wanamaker told CLIFFVIEW PILOT just hours after the incident.
Dickson slowed to 55 miles an hour but didn’t stop after LaCroix activated his lights, Wanamaker said.
At Ridgewood Avenue, Dickson activated his hazards and pulled the car to a stop on the shoulder, but as the sergeant approached after calling for backup, it roared off, the chief said.
Dickson was doing nearly 75 miles an hour as he pulled onto the Garden State Parkway, with LaCroix about 50 yards behind, he said.
Near Exit 158, the car suddenly veered right from the center lane into a guard rail, Wanamaker said.
“Watching the video, as I did several times, it appears to me that he did it intentionally,” the chief told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Dickson then “got out and put his hand into the shape of a gun,” he said. “He pointed it at LaCroix and said, ‘I’ve got a gun!’ “
Backups arrived as he hopped over the guard rail, Wanamaker said.
“He then came back and over the guard rail from the gulley with his hand in his back waistband,” the chief said.
“He said: ‘I’ve got a gun and I’m going to shoot all of you cops.’ He then pulled his hand out and made a motion toward LaCroix,” Wanamaker said.
“At that moment, another officer tackled him,” he said. “He was subdued and handcuffed.”
“I’m glad to say it ended well,” Wanamaker told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time. “This was one of those moments that could have changed a lot of lives in just a split second.
“I cannot say enough about the restraint that these officers and backup officers showed,” the chief said. “Everyone is going home safe and this obviously troubled young man will hopefully get the help he needs.”
Dickson posted $30,000 bail a day later and was released from the Bergen County Jail.
The grand jury indictment returned yesterday charges him with fleeing law enforcement through Ho-Ho-Kus, Paramus, Ridgewood, Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook after receiving a signal to stop, “creating a risk of death or injury,” and a count of threatening to shoot LaCroix and other officers “with the purpose to terrorize [them].”
MUGSHOT: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
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