On August 18, 2011 at approximately 11:50 p.m., Patrolman Richard Gaylord observed a white Plymouth Caravan traveling westbound on West Westfield Avenue make a left hand turn onto Locust Street at a high rate of speed on a red turn signal/arrow. Patrolman Gaylord attempted a motor vehicle stop into Roselle and pulled behind the Caravan which was stopped at the traffic light on Locust Street @ 1st Avenue southbound. The vehicle slowed and appeared to be stopping but continued southbound on Locust Street to West 2nd Avenue, traveling at a very low speed – approximately 5-8 MPH. The vehicle then made a right on to West 2nd Avenue and again appeared to be stopping. The vehicle then accelerated westbound on West 2nd Avenue.
The suspect vehicle continued on West 2nd Avenue, made a left turn onto Pine Street southbound, then made a right turn on West 3rd Avenue, then made a left turn on Amsterdam Avenue. The vehicle continued southbound on Amsterdam Avenue. As the vehicle approached the end of Amsterdam Avenue, the driver attempted to make a left turn on to North Wood Avenue and lost control of the vehicle; struck the curb of the Linden side of North Wood Avenue, and then a tree. The vehicle came to rest in a wooded area at the corner of North Wood Avenue and the end of Amsterdam Avenue.
The driver exited the vehicle and fled southbound on North Wood Avenue on foot.
The suspect continued southbound on North Wood Avenue then eastbound on Berlant Avenue, leaping over a fence leading to the backyard of a residence. Roselle Police and the Union County Sheriff’s K-9 unit responded to assist.
A perimeter was set up with Roselle police officers Vega, Soares, Banfield, and Romero on foot. Union County Sheriff’s officer Wilson with K-9 ‘Logan’ tracked the suspect to a backyard on Berlant Avenue. Patrolman Gaylord observed the suspect, curled in a fetal position, in the southeast corner of the yard attempting to conceal himself.
While attempting to handcuff the suspect, he continued to resist but was eventually placed under arrest and subdued.
The driver was identified as Reginald Vanvalen, age 37 of Carteret, NJ. An investigation resulted in the discovery that the vehicle was reported stolen. Mr. Vanvalen was not injured in the crash and refused any medical attention. No officers were injured. No third-party property damage.
Mr. Vanvalen was charged with the following charges:
2C:20-7 (Receiving stolen property; a 3rd degree crime)
2C:29-2(b) (Eluding; a 3rd degree crime)
2C:29-2(a)(3) (Resisting arrest)
39:4-81 (Failure to observe traffic signal)
39:4-97 (Careless driving)
39:4-96 (Reckless driving)
39:3-40 (Suspended driver’s license)
39:3-10 (Unlicensed driver)
39:4-126 (Failure to signal turn)
Mr. Vanvalen was committed to Union County Jail in lieu of $20,000.00 pending a Union County Superior Court date of August 24, 2011.