EDISON, NJ - A Sayreville man was in the wrong place at the wrong time Monday night when he tossed a piece of trash from his car window, unaware that Police Chief Tom Bryan was driving the unmarked sport utility in his rearview mirror, according to a press release Wednesday.
Sayreville resident John X. Thasites, 21, was charged with driving under the influence, and possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia, police said.
This, after Thasites' Mercedes Benz veered across Plainfield Avenue and hit a tree near Seymour Street, according to Patrolman John Cercatore's report.
After Monday night's Township Council meeting ended, Chief Bryan said he was driving east on Plainfield Avenue at 8:55 p.m., heading to Route 1, when he noticed the car in front of him being driven erratically, according to police.
The release said Chief Bryan switched on his SUV's emergency lights to stop the Mercedes after its driver abruptly swerved while throwing an empty cigarette pack out his car window.
The driver, later identified as Thasites, suddenly veered into the on-coming lane and hit the tree, police said.
Bryan radioed for police backup and medical assistance to help Thasites, who had a bloody nose and facial bruises from his car's airbag, police said.
“It was an unusual evening, to say the least,” Bryan said. “But, it gave me a firsthand chance to see our officers handle this investigation with professionalism and compassion for this injured driver. I couldn't be prouder.”
After officers Cercatore and Michael Goldfarb arrived on the scene, they said Thasites told them he allegedly used a “bag of dope” before driving, and said they would find a two empty glassine folds, used for heroin, in his wallet, according to the release.
Police said Thasites was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Center in New Brunswick, for treatment of facial injuries.
After his arrest, he was released on his own recognizance to appear in Edison Municipal Court next month, police said.