FAIRFIELD, NJ — Gerald Harmon, 23, of Paterson was recently arrested in Fairfield for driving under the influence in a school zone as well as careless driving and failure to maintain a lane, according to police.
Fairfield Officer Steven Ptaszynski was on patrol at approximately 2:42 a.m. on Nov. 1 when he came upon two vehicles that were stopped, with their hazard lights on, on the Two Bridges Road southbound ramp to Route 46 West.
According to police, one of the vehicles was a 2003 green Dodge that had a spare tire on the passenger-side rear wheel and the passenger front tire was heavily damaged. Police said it appeared that the vehicle, driven by Harmon, had recently struck a curb.
Harmon said he had struck debris in the roadway, according to police, and that that was what caused the damage.
Subsequent to investigation, police discovered that Harmon displayed signs and symptoms consistent with being under the influence—including a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath, eyes that were bloodshot and watery and eyelids that were droopy, slow and fumbling hand movements while trying to find his vehicle’s documents, slow and slurred speech and some confusion over the events surrounding the accident.
As a result, field sobriety tests were administered and based upon the totality of the circumstances, Harmon was placed under arrest and he eventually submitted to chemical breath testing.
Harmon was released on his own recognizance pending an initial court appearance in the Fairfield Municipal Court on Nov. 10.
It should be noted that the charges against Harmon are merely allegations and that he is presumed innocent until he either pleads guilty or is found guilty in a court of law.