SUMMIT, NJ - For the second time in just over two months, a Summit Police Department Officer has suffered injuries after an incident related to a vehicle theft. According to City officials, Summit Police Officer Keith Kwiatek was injured in the early-morning hours of June 6 after an accident occurred while he was in pursuit of a stolen vehicle taken from a driveway of an Oak Ridge Avenue residence at approximately 1:58 a.m.
The vehicle stolen was unlocked with the key fob in it.
In the latest incident, the suspect was observed fleeing east on Morris Avenue, and crashed into a traffic light at the intersection of Morris Avenue and Shunpike Road. The impact sent the stolen vehicle into a wooded area where it came to a rest and the suspect fled on foot.
While responding to the crash site to assist a fellow officer in searching for the suspect, Officer Kwiatek was traveling east on Morris Avenue when he collided with a civilian vehicle that had disregarded the traffic signal at Morris Avenue and Ashwood Avenue.
Kwiatek sustained a laceration to his face, bruising to his knees and a possible dislocated shoulder. He was taken to Overlook Medical Center for further evaluation and x-rays. The two civilian occupants involved in the crash were unharmed and refused medical treatment at the scene.
With the assistance of the County K9 unit, officers searched the wooded area and surrounding neighborhood for the suspect who was never located.
“People who recklessly leave keys in a car with it unlocked are drawing criminals into our neighborhoods, endangering their neighbors and our police officers,” said Summit Mayor Nora Radest.
In addition, there have been reports of packages being stolen from Summit porches, with residents advised to not leave deliveries outside, especially overnight, to avoid them being taken,
Radest continues: “Our community is being targeted by people who see easy opportunity for theft. Please be mindful for yourselves and your neighbors. Lock your cars and bring in your packages.”
On April 21, Summit Police Department Officer Anthony Pyzik was monitoring a motor vehicle pursuit of a stolen motor vehicle from a neighboring jurisdiction, traveling east on Morris Avenue when the suspect vehicle traveling west on Morris Avenue crossed the center line and collided head-on with his police vehicle causing extensive damage to both vehicles. Officer Pyzik received lacerations to the head requiring 15 stitches, and required surgery to repair femur, hip and wrist fractures.