ROXBURY, NJ – A Morris County Park Police officer's attempt to help find a suspect who fled on foot didn't turn out as planned. Instead, the officer got into a car accident on Route 206, said police.
The accident took place just south of the International Trade Center at around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Morris County Park Police Officer Kyle Koster was headed north when he heard over his police radio a report about a suspect being chased on foot by Mount Olive police, said Morris County Park Police Lt. Chris List. He said Koster, driving a Dodge Charger, decided to follow a southbound Mount Olive patrol car that passed him on the highway en route to the scene.
“He was heading there and then a marked Mount Olive unit passed him southbound,” said List. “When he saw that, braked to try to perform a U-turn on 206. Unfortunately, there was vehicle behind him. They didn’t know what officer meant to do, so they went to pass him.”
Both vehicles ended up off the road on the southbound side and sustained significant damage, but nobody was injured, said List. He said that, as far as he knows, nobody was given a summons. Roxbury police, who investigated the incident, did not respond today to a request for information.
While Koster’s accident was taking place, Mount Olive police were arresting Michael Cramer, 45, of Flanders, the man who they say fled on foot.
Cramer decided to run while he was being given a field sobriety test by Mount Olive Police Officer Thomas Cuff who had stopped Cramer after noticing Cramer wasn’t wearing a seat belt while driving on Hillside Avenue, said police. After Cramer pulled over, he got out of the vehicle he was driving and walked toward Cuff, who smelled alcohol and noticed that Cramer’s pupils were “pinpoint,” they said.
“Officer Cuff determined that Mr. Cramer appeared to be impaired due to alcohol and CDS,” said police. “During the investigation, Officer Cuff observed Mr. Cramer drop a bundle of suspected heroin on the ground, then cover it with his foot, and attempt to grind it into the pavement.”
Cuff “recovered the suspected heroin,” and began the sobriety test when a corporal from the department arrived, said police. “During the field sobriety tests, Mr. Cramer fled from Officer Cuff."
Cramer was eventually apprehended in the rear yard of a residence on Hillside Avenue, said police. After Cramer was arrested, police searched the car he was driving and found a second bundle of heroin, they said.
Cramer was charged with possession of heroin, tampering with evidence, resisting arrest, obstruction, possession of paraphernalia, being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, improper display of plates, failure to wear a seatbelt and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, police said.
Cramer was placed in the Morris County jail in lieu of $30,000 bail, they said.