Authorities say a southern New Jersey police officer is recovering from injuries suffered when he was dragged about 250 feet by a pickup truck driven by a man who later led officers on a high-speed chase through several towns.

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Brick Patrolman Mark Nixon suffered a fractured rib, sprained knee, bruised elbow and multiple abrasions in the April 18 incident, which was made public Wednesday.

Authorities say Nixon stopped the truck driven by Ronald DeFreitas of Toms River, and soon learned there was a warrant for his arrest. DeFreitas then allegedly drove off as Nixon approached the vehicle.

Nixon held on to the driver's side door, but was soon tossed when DeFreitas made a quick turn. Nixon then returned to his police cruiser and drove off in pursuit of DeFreitas. The high-speed chase, which involved other officers, eventually ended with DeFreitas' arrest in nearby Lakewood.

DeFreitas faces numerous charges, including aggravated assault and eluding. His bail was set at $150,000 cash, and it was not known Wednesday if he has retained a lawyer.

A telephone number for DeFreitas could not be located Wednesday.


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