Elizabeth man charged with death by auto after hit-and-run pedestrian strike

Mujahid Henry, seen here with Essex County Freeholder Leonard Luciano, was the victim of a hit and run driver.

An Elizabeth man is charged with death by auto and leaving the scene of a fatal accident after killing 23-year-old Mujahid Henry of Newark, who was walking struck Henry near the 1200 block of East Linden Avenue.

At about 12:30 a.m. on Friday, Linden Police Department patrol units responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash, according to Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park and Linden Police Chief Jonathan Parham.

An investigation led by the Linden Police Department Accident Investigation Team determined that a 2007 Ford Escape traveling eastbound at that location struck Henry, who was thrown into a nearby parked car and pronounced dead at the scene.

With help from the Prosecutor’s Office’s Homicide Task Force and Union County Police Department, investigators determined that Eduardo Perez, 33, of Elizabeth was operating the vehicle.

Officials say Perez abandoned the SUV on the 700 block of Lidgerwood Avenue after colliding with several parked vehicles but he was located by Elizabeth Police Department patrol units on nearby Kenneth Avenue moments later and arrested.

This incident remains under investigation, and anyone with information is being urged to contact Linden Police Department Investigator Ian Conk at 908-474-8505.

These criminal charges are mere accusations and Park said each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The victim, Mujahid Henry was a legislative aide to Essex County Freeholder Leonard M. Luciano, of West Caldwell.

Nancy Cantor, chancellor of the Rutgers University Newark campus, said Henry earned his bachelor’s degree in January from the School of Public Affairs and Administration and was going to participate in next week’s graduation ceremony.

She described Henry as “beloved and admired by student peers, faculty, and staff alike.”

“Undoubtedly a star on the rise, he was characteristically hard-working, aspiring to earn a graduate degree and go into politics, amazing all around him with the energy that enabled him to be such a success in college while holding down two jobs and volunteering in support of local public officials,” Cantor said.

 

 


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