ELIZABETH, NJ - A city man’s charges were upgraded to first-degree murder after the livery driver he allegedly assaulted in a parking lot died last week, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park said today.

Police arrested Emannuel John, 32, in connection with the June assault that occurred at a Dunkin Donuts parking lot on Routes 1&9 near Woodruff Lane. He faces multiple charges, including second-degree aggravated assault and a third degree count of leaving the scene of an accident, authorities said.

An argument between John and 45-year-old Masood Imran of Avenel quickly escalated to violence during the afternoon on June 15, authorities said. 

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John allegedly struck Imran multiple times through his open car window and slammed his door into the 45-year-old several times, police said. John allegedly put his car in reverse, striking Imran while he tried to take a photo of the vehicle with his cell phone camera, police said.

Imran was thrown to the ground before John sped away from the scene, authorities said. Elizabeth police would find Imran suffering from multiple injuries when they responded to the coffee shop, according to a prosecutor. 

Imran was transported to University Hospital in Newark, but never regained consciousness, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez, who is prosecuting the case. He would later die on Aug. 3, authorities said.

John was arrested several days after the incident and initially charged with attempted murder, authorities said. The charge was upgraded to murder yesterday, and he was scheduled to make a first appearance on the new charge today.

John is also charged with a second degree count of endangering the welfare of a child since a toddler was in the back seat of his vehicle during the alleged assault, authorities said.

Anyone with information about this incident is still urged to contact Union County Homicide Task Force Sgt. Jose Vendas at 908-358-3048 or Detective Danika Ramos at 908-451-7739.

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