ELIZABETH — A Newark man is facing a series of criminal charges after allegedly ramming an Elizabeth police cruiser with his vehicle and leading officers on a prolonged chase earlier this week, said acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park yesterday.
Devin Jefferson, 36, is charged with second-degree aggravated assault on a police officer, two counts of second-degree eluding police, and multiple traffic offenses.
It was approximately 12:05 a.m. Wednesday when Elizabeth patrol units made an attempt to stop a vehicle that had its car alarm going off while in motion, according to the investigation. The driver of the vehicle, later identified and alleged to be Jefferson, refused to stop, traveling through residential neighborhoods before striking a fire hydrant at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Mary Street.
As patrol vehicles approached the vehicle, Jefferson allegedly shifted the car into reverse, striking the front of a police vehicle and lurching forward toward other officers and their vehicles. It was then that an officer fired a single round from his service weapon, striking Jefferson in the arm.
Jefferson left the scene, prompting a second chase, but eluded capture before seeking treatment for his gunshot wound at a local hospital and released. He was arrested Thursday on Park Place in Newark without incident by members of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Elizabeth Police Department.
Bail for Jefferson was set at $100,000 with no cash alternative.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.