Man drove away with NJ cop hanging from window, police say
ENGLEWOOD — A routine traffic stop turned violent last week, leaving a city officer fighting to keep his gun while holding onto a speeding car.
The incident happened on the evening of March 17 when officers stopped a rental vehicle for a motor vehicle offense when they reported smelling marijuana. After being stopped, the driver — identified as 29-year-old Jahnoi Aarons, of Troy, New York — fled on foot.
The passenger, identified as 26-year-old Cade Cordwell, of Schenectady, New York, tried to move into the driver's seat and pull a gun from his own pocket, police said.
As the officer tried to stop him, Cordwell continued to drive down the street "with Officer Mlynaryk partially protruding out of the front driver's side window," police said in a statement.
Eventually the officer was able to turn the ignition off, causing the car to crash into a curb, police said. A third officer arrived on scene and assisted as Cordwell continued to reach for his gun and start the car. He was handcuffed before the car could start again and police recovered a 40-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Also found was a bag of marijuana. Aarons was caught and found with a third of a kilo of "high-purity cocaine," police said.
Aarons was charged with first-degree possession with intent to distribute cocaine, and second-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute within 500 feet of a public park.
Cordwell was charged with second-degree aggravated assault on a police officer, second-degree possession of a firearm with intent to use it against a police officer, second-degree fleeing and eluding, second-degree illegal possession of a firearm, and second-degree illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, among other charges. Both men were taken to the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing.
According to New York Department of Corrections records, a man with the same name as Cordwell was convicted for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in 2012. A story in the Post Star said Cordwell, who in his mugshot did not have tattoos on his face that he has now, attempted to sell heroin to a police officer in 2011. A Post Star story from 2009 said Cordwell was arrested with another teenager and charged with attempting to rob a man in his home with a knife.
A story in the Times Union from May 2014 reported Aarons was arrested after he was found with several drugs during a traffic stop for tinted windows. Police said Aarons had cocaine, ecstasy, hydrocodone and marijuana in his car, as well as digital scales.
New Jersey 101.5 did not know as of Wednesday evening whether either man had a lawyer representing them.
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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com