Attack on NJ cop proves feds’ immigration failure, Christie spokesman says
After a man already kicked out of the country once before allegedly ran down a Toms River cop, dragging him at least 25 yards, a Christie spokesman said the incident just proves the federal government has failed on immigration.
"But if reports and what is alleged in his charges are true, this crime never should have happened to begin with and is more evidence of the federal government's failure to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system," NJ Advance Media quotes Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts saying.
Giomar Diaz, 33, whose last listed address was in the Bronx, is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault on a police officer, and resisting arrest. Authorities say he's believed to be in the United States illegally after being previously deported to the Dominican Republic — originally detained in an earlier incident on weapons and drug charges.
Authorities have charged a man who picked Diaz up after the alleged assault, and are still looking for a woman seen with him.
Christie in August said he supports Kate's LAw, which would require a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for immigrants who enter the country illegally twice, or who reenter after being previously convicted of an aggravated felony. The bll is named for Kate Steinle, who was alleged shot and killed in the Embarcadero district of San Francisco by a Mexican man who had been deported several times.
Attack on Toms River officer
Police say that Tuesday afternoon, Officer Daniel Brennan, a 15 year veteran of the Toms River Police Department, was struck by a vehicle as it fled the scene of an investigation.
Brennan was at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Office investigating a document fraud case, speaking to a man who was suspected of trying to forge and obtain fraudulent documents by using a false identity, police said.
The man — later identified as Diaz — fled on foot and entered a black Honda and put the vehicle in reverse with the driver’s door still open, police said. Brennan was trapped between the open door of the car and the driver’s seat, and dragged at least 25 yards before falling loose, police said.
The vehicle then struck two parked cars and fled the area by traveling north on Hooper Avenue, according to police.
Brennan was being treated at Community Medical Center this week for non-life threatening injuries. Police have not provided a status update on his condition, but his wife told New Jersey 101.5 via Facebook he's "doing very well."
Brennan is a "kittle sore and an issue with his arm but besides that he's good!! Thanks for asking!" Eileen DeFalco Brennan said.
Authorities using information about the vehicle and surveillance photographs from inside of the MVC office identified people of interest — Diaz, and a woman with him. After the information was spread through media and social media, a resident reported that a black Honda was on Bay Point Drive, on a dead end street a mile or two east of the MVC office, police said.
The car was positively identified as being involved in striking the officer but the suspect was picked up by an unknown person in a different vehicle, police said.
At 2:25 pm, Officer Pete Saker observed a vehicle with Pennsylvania license plates operating erratically near the intersection of North Bay Avenue and Whitty Road, police said. A motor vehicle stop was conducted and the passenger of that car appeared to be the man wanted for striking the police officer at the MVC Office.
Diaz was taken into custody, police said.
He had several false identifications on him at the time, and an initial announcement from police didn't list his identity.
The woman with him still hasn't been located, police said.
According to a new announcement Wednesday, charges have also been filed against Alvin A. Hernandez Almanzar, 28, of Marlton Avenue in Camden. He has been charged with hindering Diaz's apprehension, revoked driving, and having an expired driver’s license.
Police say he's the person who picked Diaz up after the vehicle used to assault Brennan was abandoned. Bail has not yet been set for Hernandez-Almanzar.
Authorities say anyone with information should contact Detective Randy Petrick at 732-349-0150 extension 1235.