Bernardsville man tried to kill two men with his SUV— prosecutor
A 47-year-old Bernardsville man has been accused of intentionally mowing down two other men in a Bound Brook parking lot as they waited for an Uber ride more than a year ago. The driver then fled the scene, according to authorities.
William Hoke was indicted by a Somerset County Grand Jury on Wednesday of two counts of first degree attempted murder and other criminal offenses.
Hoke and the two victims all had been at a Bound Brook bar/restaurant in the hours before the encounter around 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 20, 2019, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael Robertson said.
Bound Brook Police and Rescue Squad members responded to a 9-1-1 call of a pedestrian-strike in a commuter parking lot at the train station along East Main Street.
Responding officers found two men, one from Bloomfield and the other from Bound Brook, both hurt.
A press release from the prosecutor’s office said that the men struck are 36 and 31, though the criminal complaint has the second man’s age as 30, based on his birthday.
As the men were waiting to be picked up by an Uber driver, according to an affidavit filed by police, video surveillance footage shows a black 2020 Dodge Durango enter the lot, slow down, turn slightly and then speed up toward the two men.
One of the men suffered a “significant facial injury,” while the other had cuts to his head and hands after being thrown about 10 feet into the side of a parked vehicle in the impact, according to the affidavit.
A witness told police that it was “pretty obvious and deliberate” that the SUV had struck the men.
The Durango caught on video was owned by Hoke, who was taken into custody that same morning, the prosecutor said.
Hoke was held at Somerset County Jail until a detention hearing on Jan. 3, 2020, after which he was released.
He also has been charged with third degree counts of the following:
- possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose
- leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in serious bodily injury