LINDEN – Police arrested two men early Monday morning after they tried to flee from officers who spotted them stripping a car in the parking lot of an Elizabeth church, authorities said.
Officers Gavin Sheehan and Frank Viggiano were on patrol on Allen Street about 1:40 a.m. when they pulled into the parking lot of St. Hedwig’s Church to turn around, police said. The officers saw two men stripping a white 1991 Honda Civic. The suspects fled on foot when they saw the officers, police said.
The officers gave chase and ordered the suspects to stop. Viggiano caught Mauricio L. Miranda, 19, but the second suspect climbed a six-foot fence along Interstate 278 and fled into some bushes, police said. Sheehan apprehended the suspect after hearing him scream in pain.
After the suspects were apprehended, the Linden officers called Elizabeth police to the scene, which was in their jurisdiction. Police found that the speakers had been removed from the Honda and there was a jack under the car and a tire on the ground.
According to authorities, the car was registered to a Newark resident but it had not been reported stolen as of Monday morning.
Miranda, of Elizabeth, was charged with obstruction and hindering apprehension for giving police a false name. He was being held Monday at the Linden Municipal Jail in lieu of $1,000 bail.
Joevany F. Gonzalez, 21, of Newark, who was taken to University Hospital in Newark to be treated for a leg injury apparently suffered during the pursuit, was issued a summons for obstruction, police said. Both suspects are scheduled for municipal court appearances.
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