SPARTA, NJ – a Newton man tried very hard not to get caught driving with a suspended license.  Sparta Police Officer Erick Finley attempted to stop Mathew Hammond for speeding on Route 15 North around 1 a.m. on March 4. 

Hammond, despite being followed by Finely with his lights and sirens on, did not pull over.  The 34-year-old continued for several miles, according to police, before turning right onto White Lake Road.  Hammond initially stopped on White Lake Road but when Finley walked up to the driver’s side of the car, Hammond  made an abrupt U-Turn, according to police. He got back onto Route 15.

Hammond lost the police officer when he next turned onto Brookfield Drive.

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Sparta police found out that Hammond had been arrested in Stillwater a short time later, by the New Jersey State Police.  Hammond had reportedly tried to elude them as well.  The Troopers turned Hammond over to the Sparta police after charging him, according to police.

Hamond was charged with eluding.  He was also ticketed in Sparta for failure to stop for an emergency vehicle, reckless driving, driving while suspended, speeding and failure to return or surrender suspended drivers license. 

Hammond was kept in Sussex County Jail pending a court date.