North Caldwell Police Sergeant Hospitalized After Police Pursuit: Five Arrests Made
by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
First Published 5am
NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - Early Wednesday morning, North Caldwell Police received a report of suspicious individuals running through a backyard on Mountain Avenue near White Oak Road.
The incident led to a responding officer, North Caldwell Police Sergeant John Belotta, being hospitalized after reportedly being dragged by the driver of a stolen car. Multiple departments responded and ultimately five were arrested, while two cars which were reported stolen in Morris County were recovered.
At about 4:51am this morning, North Caldwell Police responded to Mountain Avenue investigating the suspicious individuals and at the same time called in Caldwell Police Department and West Caldwell Police Department to assist with the investigation. Caldwell and West Caldwell officers patrolled Mountain Avenue while North Caldwell officers patrolled the side street areas.
A few minutes later, at 4:54am, another call came into North Caldwell headquarters from a resident reporting that they could seeing individuals running on Mountain Avenue toward Knollwood Drive. At 4:57am, Cedar Grove Police were also dispatched to assist.
While patrolling the area at 5:03am, Sergeant Belotta spotted two cars driving on Deer Trail Road headed to Brookside Terrace. Police later determined that the two cars were stolen last night out of Morris Plains and Maplewood:
"The driver of the stolen Jeep
North Caldwell officers were able to apprehend two individuals on Brookside Terrace and placed them under arrest. Although injured, Belotta was able to report that the cars drove away towards Mountain Avenue and by 5:05am, Verona Police was also sent out to assist the investigation.
At 5:26am, a Verona patrol officer on Smull Avenue saw the two wanted cars drive past him on Mountain Avenue headed towards Bloomfield Avenue.
At 5:30am, another Verona patrol officer witnessed multiple persons bail out of a car at Ryerson Avenue near Grove Street in Caldwell. The officer followed after the suspects on foot and reported to the other responding units that they were running in the area of Fells Road and Devon Road, in Essex Fells.
At 5:32am, Roseland Police were dispatched to assist after the suspects were seen behind Devon Road residences near Avon Drive. Soon after, Livingston Police were dispatched to assist at 5:36am.
North Caldwell officers were on foot as they witnessed individuals running through the backyards of Devon Road going through the connecting Fells Road backyards. At the same time, at about 5:39am, Verona officers reported seeing suspects near a residence on Fells Road.
By 5:49am, the Verona patrol office witnessed a suspect on Devon Road. Soon he was subdued, and the final arrest was made.
Deuer reported that, in total, five arrests were made in Essex Fells and North Caldwell and 1 gun was recovered. The individuals arrested reside in Maplewood, Newark and Irvington.
Within minutes, Caldwell Police reported they were with the two
stolen cars which were located at the dead end of Grove Street, Caldwell.
North Caldwell Chief Mark Deuer:
According to Deuer, by 9:45am, Essex County Sheriff's Department Crime Scene Unit, along with the Prosecutor's Office and officers from Maplewood and Morris Plains Police Departments responded to the scene and police headquarters to process the incidents.
This investigation is ongoing, and police request that anyone with video or information should contact them:
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