Weehawken, NJ, Police Officer Opens Fire After Suspected Car Thief Hits Officer
A Paterson man has been arrested after hitting a police officer with a stolen car, prosecutors said.
The 20-year-old driver, Ricky Rivera, was then shot and wounded when a second officer fired at the fleeing vehicle, according to Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
🚔 Cops: Incident unfolded in Weehawken area targeted by auto thieves
On Tuesday around 5 a.m., Weehawken police officers were patrolling a neighborhood recently hit by a number of auto thefts, Suarez said, when they saw “a suspicious vehicle parked in a driveway on Regency Place.”
As police walked up, a man – later identified as Rivera – took off in the car, striking one of the officers and prompting a second officer to fire shots with their service weapon.
Shortly after, Rivera crashed the vehicle into an occupied Port Authority Police Department vehicle — then drove a short distance before coming to a final stop.
Rivera and the officer that was struck both were treated at a local hospital for their injuries.
🚔 Car involved in encounter was stolen days earlier in nearby town
Investigators found the vehicle Rivera was driving had been reported stolen out of West New York on Friday.
He has been charged with aggravated assault (attempt to cause serious bodily injury) and eluding.
Rivera also faced three charges stemming from the stolen vehicle — unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and receiving stolen property.
He was being held at the Hudson County jail, pending a first court appearance.
Under guidelines from the state Attorney General’s Office, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Shooting Response Team was also actively investigating the incident.