Immigrant here illegally (again) ran down Toms River cop and dragged him with car, police say
Toms River Police say an immigrant in the country illegally — again — tried to kill a police officer has he dragged the cop with his car while fleeing the scene of an investigation Tuesday.
Giomar Diaz, 33, whose last listed address was in the Bronx, was held in lieu of $500,000 bail on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault on a police officer, and resisting arrest.
According to Toms River police, Diaz appears to be in the United States illegally and currently is being held on an additional no-bail detainer from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division. Police say the believe he was previously detained on weapons and drug charges and deported to the Dominican Republic.
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 Tuesday for non-life threatening injuries. Police have not provided a status update on his condition.
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.