BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ -- Township police are still investigating an apparent road rage incident that resulted in a Somerville man laying injured in the roadway on West Oak Street last week.
The following is the official report filed by Bernards Township Police Officer Anthony Severino:
On January 21, 2019, I responded to the area of West Oak Street and Washington Avenue for a pedestrian/motor vehicle crash. I arrived on scene with Sgt Amerman, Sgt Little, Cpl Matthews, Ofc Yeo, Ofc Moore, and Ofc Lopez. I observed the pedestrian involved, later identified as Garrett Thomas Jr, lying in the middle of the westbound lane of W Oak St. Atlantic ALS/BLS squads arrived on scene and treated the patient, who was transported to Morristown Medical Center.
Thomas' vehicle, a white Cadillac ATS with NJ registration , was parked in the lane of travel eastbound on W Oak St, by the intersection with S Alward Ave. The car was 941 ft west of where Thomas was found in the roadway. His fellow co-workers from the YMCA at 140 Mt Airy Rd happened to recognize Thomas and stopped at the scene. They stated he was coming into work. They were able to supply his emergency contact information, specifically his mother's name and phone number (Dawn Thomas). I contacted Dawn and advised her of her son being transported to the hospital.
I spoke with the caller, Sherry R Wrana. She stated she was driving west on W Oak St when she saw Thomas in the roadway. She stopped and approached Thomas, who was groaning. She stated he was breathing but not responding to any questions. She immediately called 911. She indicated she never saw the crash.
While on scene, the resident of 100 W Oak St, George Curtis, approached me and stated he saw part of the incident. He said he was sitting at his residence looking out towards W Oak St. He heard a vehicle's engine accelerating. He observed a black late-model Chevy Suburban at a high rate of speed traveling eastbound on W Oak St.
Although Curtis' view was partially obstructed by some shrubbery and trees in front of his residence, he observed the vehicle pass his house then saw a person "fly" from the driver side of the car. He could not tell if the individual was inside the vehicle and thrown from the vehicle or was struck by the vehicle. He observed Thomas roll about three or four times before coming to rest in the westbound lane of W Oak St. The black late-model Chevy Suburban continued towards the center of town at a high rate of speed.
During my investigation, I was advised by Somerset County dispatch of a walk-in report in reference to a road rage incident. The walk-in was the driver, later identified as Soliman Khalil. Sgt Little and I conducted a recorded interview with Khalil in the conference room at headquarters. The marks on Khalil's vehicle were consistent with someone holding on to the vehicle and striking the driver side window.
On January 27, 2020, Sgt Little and I went to 285 North Bridge St in Somerville, NJ to get a statement from Thomas. See Sgt Little's supplementary report for details.
Due to Khalil stating Thomas was using his cell phone during the incident, I asked Thomas for consent to search his phone. I read him the Somerset County Consent to Search from. He indicated he understood and gave consent to search his cell phone, which he memorialized on this form. A search of the phone yielded multiple digital photographs of the rear area of Khalil's vehicle, which were taken by Thomas. These digital photographs were emailed to me along with other photographs of damage to Thomas' vehicle, which were taken by his mother (Dawn Thomas). I returned the cell phone to Thomas along with a copy of the consent to search form.
During my investigation, I was able to identify who Khalil's fare was just prior to this incident. I made contact with Christine Czapek , who was the lawyer of Myrna Weber. Weber and her aide were the fare of Khalil on the day just prior to this incident. Czapek provided me with contact information for Weber's aide, Elizabeth Bustillos. Bustillos stated she and Weber were given a ride from 66 Morgan Lane in Basking Ridge to the Somerset County Senior wellness center at 202 Mt Airy Rd. They arrived at the Senior wellness center around 12:00 p.m. She described Khalil's vehicle as a black SUV. She stated they did not have any issues driving to the wellness center.
During my investigation, I determined Khalil's vehicle could not have been the vehicle that caused Thomas to swerve and strike the curb on Mt Airy Rd.