EXCLUSIVE : A suspected heroin addict is in the county jail after leading police on a mad car chase — going up a one-way street, bolting across sidewalks and even stopping to pick up his bumper — before the vehicle smashed another car and careened into a Garden State Parkway median.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT broke the story late Thursday afternoon. This version includes additional info from Fair Lawn police on Friday.
Elmwood Park Detective Thomas Kochis was on routine narcotics patrol on Broadway around 2:15 Thursday afternoon when he spotted a car with no brake lights driven by a man who was talking on his cellphone and not wearing a seat belt — “a whole cornucopia of offenses in one,” the officer told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Kochis ran the plate — which came back to an unregistered vehicle owned by a driver on the suspended list.
As if that weren’t enough, “he was having trouble maintaining a lane, an indication that he could have possibly been under the influence,” the detective said.
Kochis said the driver dropped a small white envelope out the window, which later turned out to be heroin.
He pulled the car over in front of the KMart on Broadway, but as Kochis approached the driver’s side window, “he gunned it and made the first right on East 53rd” — a one way coming out, the detective said.
“He had no concern for people, traffic, stop signs,” said Kochis, who took up the chase, radioing locations to headquarters.
After running a red light on Midland Avenue, the motorist sped several blocks before pulling into the dead end of Elden Place. Kochis said the driver turned the car around and mounted the sidewalk to get out, scraping the side of at least one car and nearly hitting the detective’s vehicle.
They continued several blocks through Fair Lawn, the driver blowing several stop signs along the way, until Kochis broke off the chase at Fair Lawn Parkway.
The car crashed again in Saddle Brook, this time with its front bumper falling off. The driver got out, picked up the bumper and tossed it into the car before continuing on, a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the chase told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Fair Lawn police soon picked up the pursuit.
According to a news release issued on Friday:
“Officer Luis Vasquez spotted the suspect vehicle driving on Saddle River Rd. When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the suspect slammed on the brakes causing the vehicles to hit one another. Officer Vasquez, assisted by Sgt. Eric Leitman continued to follow the vehicle into Paramus and onto the Garden State Parkway.”
Once on the Parkway, the driver again slammed on the brakes “in hope of causing the vehicles to collide and thus prevent the officers from continuing. During one such attempt, the suspect lost control of his vehicle and came to rest in the center median” near the State Police barracks just south of Route 3.
No serious injuries were reported.
The driver was identified as Simon L. Allaria, 29, a Leonia High School graduate formerly of Closter and more recently of Park Avenue in Teaneck.
Charges against Allaria include eluding, aggravated assault and resisting arrest, in addition to a host of motor vehicle violations.
Allaria is being held on $35,000 bail at the Bergen County Jail, pending a July 27 court hearing.
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