Lakewood man flees police in Howell and crashes into Canada, cops say
HOWELL — A driver who led police on a chase through a number of New Jersey communities rammed through the Canadian border and fled on foot into that country before he was captured, police in New Jersey said.
Township police say a patrolman tried to stop an erratic driver at about 10:45 p.m. Saturday, believing the motorist was intoxicated. A pursuit — which police said was authorized due to light traffic and speeds that weren't excessive — wound through Freehold, Manalapan, Marlboro, Old Bridge and Sayreville to the Garden State Parkway.
Police said the patrolman's siren failed, and since under state policy sirens must be activated during pursuits, the pursuit was ended shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday. The driver was identified as a 41-year-old Lakewood resident Josef Bartol and unspecified criminal and motor vehicle complaints were signed against him, police said.
Howell police said they were notified several hours later by Canadian and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials that the driver had “rammed through the Canadian border and fled on foot into Canada." He was ultimately captured and was in Canadian custody, police said.
Canadian authorities said the man claimed to have killed his parents but police in New Jersey checked the residence and said they believed that to be untrue. Canadian authorities, who said they suspected a mental health issue, are to turn the driver over to U.S. authorities, police said.
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