CVP EXCLUSIVE: Plea negotiations continued this week for a convict charged with leading police on a high-speed, six-town Bergen County chase from Paramus to Bogota that ended in gunfire.
Franceso Piserchia, 40, is currently serving prison sentences of three and five years, respectively, for drug, resisting and terroristic threat convictions out of Bergen and Passaic counties.
Admitted to Northern State Prison in Newark in February 2012, he comes up for parole in a little under three weeks.
Piserchia also is named in two separate domestic violence indictments, in which Bergen County authorities say he beat and restrained the same woman with weapons, stole her car and fought with police.
Current talks are centering on an August 2010 chase that led to the acquittals of two Bergen County Police Department officers accused of covering up the shooting.
The incident began the afternoon of Aug. 12, 2010, when a Forest Avenue resident returned home and found a black SUV with a man inside parked in her driveway. Suddenly, a second man emerged from her house and got into the SUV.
Piserchia was behind the wheel, authorities said.
The woman called Paramus police, who immediately responded and broadcast a description of the vehicle with a partial license plate. An hour later, a Paramus officer began chasing the SUV, broadcasting its location over the State Police Emergency Network (SPEN).
BCPD Officer Saheed Baksh joined the chase headed east on Route 4. Heavy traffic, combined with rain and the SUV’s “high speed and erratic driving conditions,” quickly made him the lead pursuer as the getaway vehicle exited off the highway into Teaneck.
In Bogota, the SUV was struck by a truck driven by a civilian. The SUV spun and collided with Baksh’s patrol car before continuing down Chestnut Avenue toward West Shore Avenue, authorities said.
At the bottom of the hill, where Chestnut intersects with West Shore, the driver turned left and pulled the SUV onto a grassy berm near some woods.
“Baksh continued straight and then onto the berm,” Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli later said.
Piserchia and passenger Carlos Camacho then bailed out and ran toward the woods, he said.
Baksh got out, as well, pulled his Glock service weapon and fired two shots, the prosecutor said.
BCPD Officer Jeffrey Roberts, who also heard the SPEN transmission and joined the pursuit, was directly behind Baksh as he drove down Chestnut Avenue, Molinelli wrote in court papers. He quickly joined the chase, along with other officers who were converging on the area.
Both Piserchia and Camacho were caught. They complained of “medical issues” and were taken to Hackensack University Medical Center.
Prosecutors later brought a case against the two county officers. In what was considered an unusual move, Molinelli himself testified during their trial.
Both returned to duty after their acquittals and their department handled the matter administratively.
The grand jury indictment related to the incident charges Piserchia with eluding, three counts of assault for the injuries sustained by others in the chase, breaking and entering and manufacturing a burglar’s tool.
He remained held in the Essex County Jail on an unrelated case.
MUGSHOT (TOP): Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
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