Summit police officer recovering after accident

Officer Anthony Pyzik

SUMMIT, NJ — Good news for Summit Police Officer Anthony Pyzik. According to Summit Police Capt. Andrew Bartolotti, the officer is now recovering from April 21 surgery at Morristown Medical Center following a motor vehicle accident, which occurred at 12:16 a.m. the same day at the intersections of Morris Avenue and Lower Overlook Road in Summit, and which left him in serious but stable condition.

Pyzik, age 31, who has been a member of the Summit Police Department for three years, was traveling east on Morris Avenue and monitoring the pursuit of a stolen motor vehicle from a neighboring jurisdiction, when the suspect vehicle, traveling west on Morris Avenue, crossed the center line and collided head-on with Pyzik’s police vehicle, causing extensive damage to both vehicles.

According to Bartolotti, the injured officer remains under the care of his physician. This comes after receiving lacerations to the head, which required 15 stitches, and undergoing surgery to repair femur, hip and wrist fractures.

Willing to help in any capacity they can, members of the Summit Policeman’s Benevolent Association Local No. 55 — the police union in which Summit police officers have a long history of supporting one another in both good and challenging times — has set up a fundraising site on behalf of Pyzik.

As of April 27, the GoFundMe fundraiser has raised more than $40,000, with a goal of $100,000. Created on April 22, the fundraiser had received 385 donations in just four days. One hundred percent of the funds raised will go directly to Pyzik and will assist him and his family financially while he recovers from his injuries.

“On behalf of Officer Pyzik and his family, we would like to thank all of the donors this far for their generous contributions,” read a message from the Summit PBA on the fundraising website. “These funds have quickly and continuously surpassed our initial goals that were thought to be unattainable. The funds collected will undoubtedly go a long way in allowing the Pyziks to focus on Anthony’s recovery, not their finances.”

Apprehended at the crime scene were two suspects. The driver of the vehicle, Walleed Wheeler, 18, of Newark, is charged with second-degree eluding, second-degree aggravated assault on a police officer, third-degree receiving stolen property and third-degree possession of heroin. The passenger, Dante Brown, 20, also of Newark, is charged with third-degree receiving stolen property.

At the time of the incident, it was unknown whether additional suspects fled the scene. Further investigation conducted by Summit police and several other responding police agencies, including a New Jersey State Police helicopter, determined that no further suspects were at large.

Bartolotti is confident about Pyzik’s recovery.

“Officer Pyzik is a dedicated and determined police officer. I have every confidence that he will pursue his recovery in the same way,” Bartolotti said on April 24.