TOMS RIVER —Police say a New Jersey woman led them on a wild chase — but they still don't know why — after the car she was in crashed.

The chase left an officer with an injury that required more than 25 stitches, and led officers into a river, where they finally caught up with 36-year-old  Loraine Niocolosi of Brick, police say.

On Friday afternoon, a 2008 Chevy Malibu driven by Daniel Menchise, 62, crashed into the front of the ShopRite on Route 37 West, police said.  Menchise had been having difficulty operating his car because of a medical boot on his foot, and as he approached the ShopRite, he lost control and rode over the curb, police said. He hit the cement support column of the building in the crash.

Police said that's when his passenger, Niocolosi, jumped out of the car and ran away.

Shortly after, Officer Ryan Fitzgerald saw Niocolosi walking on Lakehurst Road just west of the Garden State Parkway, police said. But when he approached her, she fled on foot, police said. He chased her — and they both fell down an embankment, with Fitzgerald landing on a sharp object that caused a deep laceration, police said.

Niocolosi then jumped into the water near the Parkway, swimming through a river and running through a swampy area, police said. She was finally caught hours later, when officers and fire personnel reached her with a rescue boat, police said.

She was charged with obstructing the administration of law, but police said she gave no explanation for why she ran. Menchise was charged with careless operation of a motor vehicle.

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