NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A South Brunswick man was found guilty in a jury trial for second degree eluding from police officers at a traffic stop on March 7. The conviction of Alan Fratello was announced by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka last week. Fratello faces the possibility of up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing hearing on May 17.
The six-day jury trial concluded with the verdict on March 7 from an incident in June of 2018. Fratello was driving a 2016 gray Kia Sorrento on the northbound side of Route 130. Several drivers telephoned 911 to report the gray Kia Sorrento was driving erratically. Two plain clothes officers, Sergeant Eric Tighelaar and Detective Monica Posteraro arrived on the scene. The two detectives conducted a motor vehicle stop on Fratello’s vehicle. During the stop, Fratello grabbed the sergeant’s tie and started to drive away, briefly pulling along the sergeant. The sergeant was able to break free and was not injured.
Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Keith Abrams and Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Deanna Himelson presented evidence and testimony showing that Fratello, after being stopped for erratic driving, grabbed the necktie of a police officer and sped away in an attempt to flee the scene. South Brunswick officers Captain Ron Seaman, Sergeant Eric Tighelaar, Sergeant Mike Pellino, Sergeant Nathan Labuda, Detective Monica Posteraro and Officer Bryan Garrison all testified in the trial.
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The 47-year-old will be sentenced by Superior Court Judge Diane Pincus in May.
“This conviction sends a strong message about fleeing police. Mr. Fratello’s reckless conduct risked the lives of the detectives and the general public when he fled. The detectives were simply pulling over a possibly impaired driver when he decided to escalate the car stop into a near life and death situation,” said Hayducka, following the trial,
Hayducka also credited all the officers involved with their hard work in making sure Fratello did not put other lives at risk.