LIVINGSTON, NJ – Livingston police officers became involved in a car chase on Saturday afternoon during which the suspect vehicle struck an LPD vehicle prior to disappearing into Millburn. Police later learned that the driver of the vehicle had been wanted for kidnapping.
According to Livingston police, a radio broadcast came to them from the Essex County Sheriff's Department concerning the pursuit of a 2018 Honda Accord that was involved in a kidnapping. It was reported that a sheriff’s officer had been in pursuit of the vehicle traveling westbound on Route 280 when the vehicle was lost near Exit 11.
A sergeant on patrol in Livingston later observed the suspect vehicle traveling south on Eisenhower Pkwy into Livingston, according to police, who described Livingston’s involvement in the pursuit as follows:
When the sergeant attempted to catch up to the Honda, the driver quickly accelerated away from the police car. A second Livingston officer had picked up the pursuit when the Honda made a U-turn over the median on Eisenhower Pkwy and began heading north.
The pursuit traveled through the traffic circle onto West Northfield Road to South Livingston Avenue, then onto East Hobart Gap, eventually turning west on South Orange Avenue. The driver of the Honda then made another U-turn and in the process struck a Livingston police car. The Honda then went east into Millburn.
Millburn and Springfield police cars picked up the pursuit until the Honda was eventually lost.
According to Livingston police, the driver of the suspect vehicle was eventually identified as Melvin Martinez, 20, of Newark, who currently has warrants issued for his arrest.
The victim in the reported kidnapping was identified as his girlfriend, who owns the vehicle that Martinez was operating. She later made her way to the Newark Police Department to make a domestic violence complaint against Martinez, according to police.
Livingston police have charged Martinez with eluding police along with numerous motor vehicle violations. Martinez also faces additional charges filed by the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and the Newark Police Department.
This investigation is ongoing and more information will be shared as it becomes available.