The Hoboken Police Department arrested two Newark residents on May 28 after police pursued a stolen car along Observer Highway amid bursting fireworks, prompting a week-long investigation.
On Friday, May 22, at about 9:12 p.m., Officer Damien Bates and Officer Dylan Archilla responded to 518 Washington St. after a stolen vehicle was reported.
The victim, a 24-year-old man from Bayonne, reported that he parked his 2007 blue Honda Accord at about 9:05 p.m. in front of 518 Washington St. and left his keys in the car, unattended and unsecured to pick up a delivery order at a nearby restaurant.
When he returned about five minutes later, his car was gone.
Officer Bates broadcast a description of the car and its NJ registration over the police radio.
Minutes later, Officer Kyle Seper located the car traveling southbound on River Street from First Street and saw the car make a right turn onto Newark Street, Seper initiated a motor vehicle stop; the car stopped in the area of 30 Newark St.
Once the officer placed his marked police car in park, the driver of the car allegedly began to drive away.
Officer Seper activated his sirens along with his emergency lights, which were already on, in an attempt to pull the vehicle over again, but the driver allegedly ignored the officer and continued to travel east on Newark Street, make a left onto Hudson Street, and then a right onto Observer Highway when the car allegedly sped up to 45 mph with Officer Seper in pursuit.
Officer Michael Straten joined the pursuit in the area of Observer Highway and Willow Avenue, with Officer Seper in the lead.
As they pursued the car west on Observer Highway, Officer Seper saw an object being held out the driver side window that was smoking and sizzling which was then deployed in his direction. Officer Seper heard a slight explosion of what he believed to be fireworks and ran over the object. Upon reaching the Hoboken and Jersey City border, the pursuit was terminated by Lieutenant Keith Rotondi and Sergeant David Olivera.
The stolen car was entered into the National Crime Information Center, and surrounding jurisdictions were notified.
At about 11:18 p.m., the Newark Police Department recovered the stolen car with a fake plate, and the original plates missing and assumed stolen.
Detective Adam Colon was assigned as lead detective on the case and was assisted by Detective Michael Miranda, Detective Vito Gigante, and Detective John Quinones.
The detectives determined that three people were involved, two men and one woman.
On May 28, 2020, one of the alleged perpetrators was identified as a 15-year-old boy from Newark.
With the one teen identified and a description of the other people involved, Detective Sergeant Josue Velez went on patrol in an unmarked car. While in the area of 301 Washington St. at about 9:08 p.m. Detective Sergeant Velez saw two people who matched the description. They were stopped for investigation and arrested and charged for theft.
The male was the previously identified 15 year old Newark resident and the woman was identified as 18 year old Alicia Mallard of Newark. Police charged the juvenile with Juvenile Delinquency Aggravated Assault, Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Burglary, Theft, Eluding, and Conspiracy to Commit Theft.
He was remanded to Essex County Juvenile Center.
Police charged Mallard with Aggravated Assault, Possession of Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, Burglary, Theft, Eluding, and Conspiracy to Commit Theft. Her charges were placed on a warrant, and she was committed to the Hudson County Correctional Facility.
According to Detective Lieutenant Danilo Cabrera, the police department is currently unable to identify the third individual involved in the theft but “upon learning his identification he will be charged.”
Both Mallard and the teen are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.