Last Sunday, Elmwood Park Police Chief Donald Ingrasselino had a close call when his police car was struck by a man suspected of drunk driving. Ironically, the accident occurred just as the police chief was on his way to supervise a DUI checkpoint.
Sources said the chief and a fellow officer were driving eastbound on Route 46 toward the Midland Avenue checkpoint in an unmarked Dodge Durango around 2:30 in the morning when a large sports utility vehicle crashed into the rear left end of the police car at a high rate of speed, blowing out the rear left tire.
The 29-year-old man who had been driving the SUV drove away following the crash and headed toward Garfield, despite serious damage to his vehicle. The chief followed him in the Durango, despite its blown out tire, and successfully polled him over after five blocks.
On inspection of the man’s vehicle, police found a large can of an alcoholic beverage in a cup holder in the front of the vehicle. He was then arrested and charged with two counts of assault by auto, eluding police, and driving while intoxicated, in addition to a number of other motor vehicle summonses. Later on at police headquarters, the man refused to give a breath sample, and was released after he posted $10,000 bail.
The chief and the other office were treated for minor injuries at Hackensack University Medical Center. Sunday’s incident was the third time he had been hit by a drunk driver as a police officer.
Sources said nine other individuals were arrested during Sunday’s checkpoint, which ran from midnight until 4 o’clock in the morning.
Source: northjersey.com, “Man crashes into police chief’s vehicle, charged with DWI in Elmwood Park,” Justo Bautista and Kamana Shrestha, 15 May 2011.