ROSELLE PARK/ELIZABETH, NJ - A call from a concerned citizen reporting an erratic driver in a car that was traveling in the opposite lanes on West Westfield Avenue near Gordon Street in Roselle Park on Sunday at approximately 2:40 a.m. sent Roselle Park Police on a chase that eventually was called off until the car later crashed in Elizabeth.
Roselle Park Police located the car, described as a black four-door Honda, on Westfield Avenue at Chestnut Street and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle quickly accelerated and refused to stop for police nearly striking several parked cars and swerving in and out of its lane. Police lost sight of the vehicle and terminated the pursuit on Westfield Avenue at Elmora Avenue in Elizabeth.
After checking the immediate area for the vehicle, officers discovered an accident on Westfield Avenue at Orchard Street in Elizabeth involving the Honda and three other vehicles. An investigation revealed that the Honda rear ended an SUV at the red light, rolled both vehicles and struck two other parked vehicles. The driver of the SUV, a 40-year-old Elizabeth resident, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated by police. He was transported to the hospital with reports of neck and back pain.
The driver of the Honda, Danilo Rodriguez-Benitez, 25, from Elizabeth was captured on foot one block west of the accident when he attempted to flee from police. He was transported to the hospital with minor facial injuries and then to Roselle Park Police Department where he was formally charged with Eluding Police (second degree).
Bail for Rodriguez-Benitez was set at $75,000. He was also issued numerous traffic summons to include DWI, DWI in a school zone, reckless driving and unlicensed driver and was lodged in the Union County Jail.