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On November 19, 2017 at approximately 11:25 A.M., Police Officer Vince DeFazio observed a “suspicious vehicle” in the area of Cedar Lane and Paterson Plank Road.  A run of the registration on the 2016 Nissan Murano listed the vehicle as a “stolen.”   It was later discovered that the vehicle was stolen from a residential driveway in West New York earlier in the morning.

While awaiting additional officers, Police Officer DeFazio continued to follow the Nissan Murano.  After an attempt was made to stop the stolen vehicle, the driver, identified as Richard J. Murphy, 27 of West New York, began to drive recklessly.  He drove the wrong way on one way streets and drove along the sidewalks at certain points and struck several parked and moving vehicles.  After deeming Mr. Murphy’s driving posed an immediate threat to the safety of the public, a vehicular pursuit was initiated.  


Mr. Murphy drove the stolen vehicle at a Hudson County Sheriff’s Officer who was not involved in the pursuit, but directing traffic in the area of Immaculate Conception Church.  The Sheriff’s Officer had to jump out of the way of the stolen vehicle’s path to avoid being struck and the officer landed on top another vehicle passing by.  


The pursuit continued into North Bergen where a “boxing in” technique was attempted since the stolen vehicle was now driving at slow speeds.  However, Mr. Murphy made it around the police vehicles and the pursuit continued onto Bergen Turnpike in North Bergen.  Once on Bergen Turnpike, Mr. Murphy once again drove onto the sidewalk where he struck a fence, building, parking meter and a parked vehicle.  Due to damage it appeared the vehicle Mr. Murphy was operating was disabled.  However, he then accelerated at full throttle and deliberately struck the driver side door of a marked Secaucus Police Vehicle just prior to the officer exiting.  At this point the pursuit was terminated and Richard J. Murphy was taken into custody.  


Two (2) Secaucus Police vehicles were involved in motor vehicle crashes during the pursuit.  Three (3) Secaucus Police Officers suffered minor injuries as a result of the crashes, however no member of the public was injured.  


Richard J. Murphy was charged with Burglary [2C:18-2a(1)], Receiving Stolen Property [2C:20-7], Eluding [2C:29-2b] and two counts of Aggravated Assault [2C:12-1b(1)] along with numerous motor vehicle violations.  He was taken to the Hudson County Jail.


Chief Flaherty thanks the North Bergen Police Department, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and Hudson County Sherriff’s Office for their assistance with this pursuit.   


These charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.