This case arose after a power outage at the Lacey Business Park on January 3rd. Police sought to identify the cause of the outage just after 5:00 a.m., at which time they discovered vandalized power lines and a transformer that was completely destroyed.
Investigators determined that someone attached a vehicle to the power lines using a chain and pulled. This led to a chain reaction: one of the electrical lines on the utility pole broke, which caused a transformer to explode. The incident caused an estimated $20,000 in damage, including damage to businesses receiving power from the transformer.
Further investigation led officers to a truck stolen from a nearby business parking lot. The truck was first observed on Newark Avenue in Forked River. The officer who saw it pursued the vehicle, which sped away. It was subsequently found abandoned in the woods close to Lacey Road.
Then, police received a report of two men in the median of the Garden State Parkway. A 23-year-old Forked River resident and a 25-year-old Toms River resident were ultimately found walking on a nearby road. Both men were arrested and taken to Ocean County Jail.
They are both facing charges for burglary, criminal mischief, auto theft, and resisting arrest. One of the defendants has also been charged with eluding. You may be wondering why only one of the men is facing an eluding charge. This is an important facet of New Jersey law, which delineates between resisting arrest and eluding offenses.
Although governed by the same statute, NJSA 2C:29-2, eluding and resisting arrest are considered unique criminal offenses in New Jersey. If you are accused of resisting arrest, this means you either purposely prevented or attempted to prevent a law enforcement officer from making an arrest. If you resist arrest by flight (meaning you attempted to flee), this is classified as a fourth degree crime. However, it is enhanced to a third degree crime if the offense created a risk of injury.
So, what’s the difference between eluding and resisting arrest? Eluding is specifically explained in subsection (b) of NJSA 2C:29-2. The offense of eluding occurs when a person attempts to flee a police officer while operating a motor vehicle. In other words, you must be driving a car, truck, boat, or other vessel in order to be charged with eluding police. You must know that the officer signaled you to stop the vehicle and fail to follow their instruction. Depending on the circumstances, you may be charged with a third degree or second degree crime for eluding. In this case, the one defendant was likely charged with eluding because he was identified as the driver of the vehicle.
Eluding Police Lawyers in Lacey, New Jersey
A charge for eluding or resisting arrest must be taken seriously. These offenses can result in prison time, a conviction of your criminal record, fines, probation, community service, and more. If you’re arrested for a crime like eluding in Lacey Township, NJ, the criminal defense lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law are here to help. Our attorneys aggressively defend clients charged with eluding, reckless driving, criminal mischief, and other offenses throughout Ocean County. We are available immediately to assist you so call (848) 238-2100 now for a free initial consultation. You can also contact us online to schedule an appointment.
For more information about this case, visit the following link: Two men lead Lacey police on chase after destroying transformer, stealing truck: police