YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A heroin addict wanted by several law enforcement agencies dragged a Ridgefield police officer with his mini-van at a Route 46 roadblock, launching a wild chase that included him driving the wrong way on the highway and smashing the vehicle into a civilian’s SUV and two patrol cars.
The dragged officer and the driver of the smashed cruiser were both taken to Hackensack University Medical Center for evaluation but were otherwise fine, Police Chief Thomas Gallagher told CLIFFVIEW PILOT tonight.
“Everybody is OK,” the chief said.
Meanwhile, 25-year-old Denny Oh of Hackettstown was being held on $250,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail on a host of charges.
Officer Kevin Nebbia stopped the gray 2005 Honda Oddysey with New Jersey license plates at a checkpoint on the Grand Avenue exit ramp from eastbound Route 46 at 6:25 p.m. and discovered warrants for Oh, Gallagher said.
As Nebbia told him that he was being taken into custody, Oh hit the gas, he said.
Nebbia was dragged about 25 feet before he was able to jump off the mini-van and return to his car.
He chased Oh, whose vehicle sent another onto a curb and into the Verizon Wireless store building on Broad Avenue after he blew a stop sign at Edsall Avenue, Gallagher said.
The driver of the other car and her young son weren’t injured.
With police in pursuit, Oh got back onto Route 46 going west, then suddenly spun around and headed the wrong way, bearing down on officers who’d gotten out of their cars, the chief said.
The mini-van then struck a police cruiser driven by Officer Edward Schaefer, but Oh kept on going, he said.
He continued the wrong way down the Grand Avenue ramp, then drove a short distance before the mini-van slammed into another Ridgefield police car, Gallagher said ( see photo above ).
Oh got out and tried to run but was quickly caught by a group of Palisades Park and Ridgefield officers who tackled him in some bushes outside 73 West Columbia Avenue, witnesses told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
“He was totally combative, resisting the whole time,” one said. “Even when they had the cuffs on him, he continued to be combative in the police car.”
Gallagher said charges would include several counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, eluding, hindering, leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, possession of heroin and driving under the influence of drugs.
Oh also is wanted on warrants out of Bloomfield, East Orange and Cherry Hill.
The Bergen County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Identification collected evidence.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
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