Police & Fire

Man Shoots at Edison Cop During Route 1 Chase After Kidnap Attempt

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EDISON, NJ - A North Carolina man who commandeered his cousin’s vehicle -  while kidnapping her - tried to shoot at pursuing patrol cars on Route 1 but ended up putting bullet holes into the vehicle’s rear seat, said police.

The man, Jesse Namotka, 20, of Sylva, N.C., was running from police after his attempt to kidnap his cousin, Jessica Namotka, 37, of Allentown, Pa., was thwarted when she jumped from the vehicle to escape, police said.

They said the incident began at 12:45 p.m. on November 21 when Jessica Namotka leaped from the passenger-side door of her Jeep Cherokee as it was being driven by Jesse Namotka who, she told police, had commandeered the vehicle. Police said Jessica Namotka made her escape when her cousin slowed in traffic on Route 1 near Wood Avenue.

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Startled by his cousin’s action, Jesse Namotka collided with another vehicle stopped on the highway, said police. They said he then sped away from the accident scene.

Moments later, Edison Police Officer Nicholas Bayne saw the damaged Jeep – with a flat rear tire – heading north on Route 1. Bayne attempted to stop the vehicle and this started a chase that ended when Namotka lost control of the Jeep along Amboy Avenue near Franklin Avenue, police said.

Once the Jeep stopped, Namotka surrendered to Bayne, Edison Police Officer Brian Castles and several other patrolmen who had joined the pursuit. In arresting Namotka, police found a dozen packets of heroin, small bags of rock cocaine and a packet of cocaine powder in the man's trouser pockets, they said.

Additionally, Edison Police Officer Erwin Enriquez found two handguns – a revolver and a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun – inside the damaged Jeep, police said. Officers also found several bullet holes and slugs from the revolver in the vehicle's rear seat. They said this indicated Namotka tried to shoot at the pursuing patrol cars during the chase.

Namotka was charged with attempted murder, threatening to commit murder, carjacking, criminal restraint, four firearms possession charges, theft, possession and intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, leaving an accident scene and eluding police.

Police said Namotka is wanted for a parole violation in connection with a robbery in another jurisdiction and they said he face additional charges pending further investigation.               

He is being held at the Middlesex County jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Jessica Namotka was treated at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for minor injuries, police said.

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