SPARTA, NJ - A Newton man is facing a variety of charges after a hit and run. Sparta Police Cpl. Dan EIig was following up on the report of an erratic driver on October 16 around 6:40 p.m. on Route 15 north when the reported car drove past him, police said.
Elig followed the white Lincoln Continental driven by Selvin Rodriguez of Newton. The driver was not able maintain his lane, straddling the dotted white line, drifting between lanes, according to police.
When Elig stopped the car, the driver said his name was Carlos and that he had never gotten a driver's license. Further, the driver would not give the officer any identification, according to police.
Elig saw there was fresh front end damage on Rodriguez's car. The 47-year-old driver said he did not know anything about the damage and had not been in an accident. Elig found that Rodriguez had hit a car on Route 15 and left the scene of the accident, police report.
Sparta Sgt. Pensado, Cpl. Smith and Police Officer Herd arrived to provide assistance as Rodriguez was given a field sobriety test. Rodriguez was taken into custody and brought to Sparta Police headquarters for processing.
Elig was able to find the driver's identity as Selvin Rodriguez by checking the cell phone Rodriguez was using. Police say a search of the name Selvin Rodriguez came back with an outstanding $1,000 warrant from Morris County Park Police. Sparta police were able to confirm Rodriguez's identity by matching his tattoos with the Morris County arrest report.
When asked to submit to a breath test, Rodriguez refused and swore at the officers, police report.
Rodriguez was charged with driving while intoxicated, refusal to submit to a breath test, driving while suspended, careless driving, failure to produce registration, failure to produce insurance, open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, unlicensed driver, obstructed view, failure to maintain lane, unsafe motor vehicle.
He was also charged by Cpl. Grauerholz for leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, tailgating and failure to keep right on a highway. Rodriguez was given a court date and turned over to Morris County Park Police to be held in the Morris County Correctional Facility on the warrant.