HACKENSACK, NJ - Officers of the Lyndhurst Police Department responded to a report of a carjacking Tues. June 8. A short time later, the motorist who made that call found himself arrested and charged in connection to a hit-and-run that took place a short time earlier.
On Tuesday, June 8, at about 10 p.m., officers of the Lyndhurst Police Department responded to a call regarding a motor vehicle accident in the township at Grant and Valley Brook Avenues. A 56-year-old woman was found on the side of the road with multiple serious injuries. It was immediately apparent to the officers that she was struck by a motor vehicle.
The victim, is unidentified due to patient privacy laws, was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center. She is reported to be in critical but serious condition.
Police started an investigation immediately. A video recording showed the victim being stuck by a silver sedan. The video also showed that vehicle fleeing the area. Shortly thereafter, a report regarding the carjacking of a 2017 silver Toyota Camry was received by the department.
Samuel Torres, a 38-year-old Nutley resident, told the officers responding to the carjacking call that he was assaulted and left unconscious. Torres claimed that when he regained consciousness his 2017 silver Toyota Camry was missing.
Fast work on the part of Lyndhurst police connected the “carjacking” with the earlier hit-and-run.
Police determined that Torres was behind the wheel of the Camry at the time of the hit-and-run. They also determined that the carjacking narrative was fabricated in an attempt to conceal the crime.
On Wednesday, June 9, Torres found himself on the receiving end of several charges including leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in serious bodily injury in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1, a 3rd degree crime. He was also charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, hindering apprehension, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack, is scheduled for Wed., June 23.
The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Jason Love, and the Lyndhurst Police Department under the direction of Chief Richard L. Jarvis. According to Bergen County Prosecutor Musella "the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and he would also like to thank the Lyndhurst Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this investigation."