YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An intense drama played out on the side of the Garden State Parkway overnight, as an unarmed Mahwah man who crashed his car during a police chase acted as if he had a gun in his waistband and threatened to use it on the responding officers, Ho-Ho-Kus Police Chief John Wanamaker told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
“I cannot say enough about the restraint that these officers and backup officers showed,” Wanamaker said. “This was one of those moments that could have changed a lot of lives in just a split second.”
The incident began around 3 a.m., when Sgt. Michael LaCroix clocked a 1998 Nissan Sentra doing 85 miles an hour on southbound Route 17, the chief said.
The driver — identified as 20-year-old Jabari 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.”
Dickson was being processed at Ho-Ho-Kus police headquarters.
Others directly involved in the incident said it clearly appeared to be an attempt at suicide by cop.
“I’m glad to say it ended well,” Wanamaker told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “Everyone is going home safe and this obviously troubled young man will hopefully get the help he needs.”
Dickson was being held on $30,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with resisting arrest, eluding, threatening to commit a crime and improper behavior.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
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