UNION, NJ – A Union police officer was involved in a car chase on Morris Avenue at just after 4 a.m. on Friday morning, which ended with the vehicle crashing into a bridge in Elizabeth.

According to police, overnight there were several robberies in Newark, Maplewood and Union. 

The Union police investigated a robbery that occurred after 3 a.m. on Walker Avenue near William Street.  The victim, a 42-year old woman, had just parked her car and was walking to her home when a silver car pulled up and a passenger exited the vehicle.  According to police, the passenger walked up to the woman and demanded her possessions, with his hand in his pocket implying that he was armed with a gun.  The suspect punched the woman in the face, knocking her to the ground. The suspect grabbed the woman’s purse and attempted to take her cell phone, but was scared off by the victim’s screaming. The suspect returned to the car and fled. The suspect was described as a young, light skinned black male, 5 feet, 6 inches tall. 

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Other robberies included carjackings in and around Newark and an alert by Maplewood police of a robbery close to Union’s border, in which the suspects fled in a light colored SUV.  Additionally, Irvington police reported an Infiniti speeding through town, which matched a recently carjacked vehicle.

A Union police officer on patrol on Stuyvesant Avenue near Tyler Street saw a car with an obstructed license plate. The car was observed in the vicinity of Walker Avenue, near where the earlier robbery occurred. The car appeared to have a rag partially covering the plate. The officer stopped the car on Stuyvesant Avenue in Union Center. 

The officer was able to get a license plate as he approached the car, but the driver, later identified as Timothy Chambers, 49, of Newark, drove away and headed east on Morris Avenue in the west bound lanes. The officer pursued the vehicle.

The driver drove over the center median and continued east on Morris Avenue at a high rate of speed.  According to police, the car was not reported as stolen and due to the reckless actions of the driver, the pursuit was ended as the officer entered into Elizabeth and lost sight of the vehicle.

Police report that the car crashed into a bridge in Elizabeth and caught fire. Union and Elizabeth Fire Departments cut the roof off the car to extricate the occupants. The occupants were all transported to University Hospital in Newark. 

The initial investigation did not connect this car to the prior robberies. The driver’s license was suspended and one passenger told officers they had smoked crack beforehand. The driver was arrested for eluding the police in Union. Elizabeth Police are investigating the driver for possible DWI charges. 

One passenger is believed to have a broken arm and the other may have a fractured hip. Chambers also may have a fractured hip. He is being charged with eluding the police and received traffic summonses for his actions. Chambers is under police guard in the hospital.