MORRISTOWN, NJ –Two men who ran away from police after smashing a car Tuesday – prompting a search that included dogs and a helicopter - face numerous charges including illegal gun possession, police said today.
The men, Meshach Whagar, 28, of Newark, and Tione Davis, 35, of East Orange, are in jail, having been captured and charged with many crimes, said Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp and Morris Plains Borough Police Chief Jason Kohn. The search for the duo alarmed residents of Morris Plains and Morris Township as police scoured their neighborhoods for much of Tuesday morning.
The incident began at about 1:15 a.m. that day when police noticed a vehicle in the area of Hanover Avenue and Speedwell Avenue in Morris Plains had a “registration tag that was not assigned to the vehicle," said a statement by Knapp and Kohn.
“When officers attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop, the vehicle accelerated and attempted to flee,” said the statement. “The pursuit continued into Morris Township, where the driver ultimately lost control and crashed into a telephone pole on Hanover Avenue.”
The prosecutor and chief said the men left the smashed car and fled on foot. This prompted the search in which police used dogs and a helicopter. During the search, police warned curious residents to stay in their homes.
Whagar, who was later determined to be the driver of the car, was found hiding in a garage in Morris Township shortly after the pursuit, said the statement. It said Davis was arrested Wednesday morning at his job.
Authorities said they found two handguns in the crashed car. One of the weapons contained fake bullets, they said.
Whagar was charged with one count of second-degree eluding, two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, one count of third-degree burglary, one count of third-degree resisting arrest, one count of third-degree hindering apprehension and one count of fourth-degree possession of fake bullets, authorities said. He was placed in the Morris County jail on a warrant-complaint in accordance with the Criminal Justice Reform Act.
Davis was charged with two counts of second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, one count of third-degree resisting arrest and one count of fourth-degree possession of fake bullets, said the statement. He also was placed in the jail.
“Numerous law enforcement agencies assisted in the investigation, including the Morris Plains Borough Police Department, the Morris Township Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the Major Crimes Unit of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the Hanover Township Police Department, the Morristown Police Department, the Morris County Park Police, the Madison Police Department and the Florham Park Police Department,” said the prosecutor and chief.