NJ man accused of ramming Lakewood police car, nearly hitting cop
Law enforcement has tracked down a 20-year-old Jackson man accused of ramming a police vehicle and almost running over a Lakewood police officer, while fleeing from two different traffic stops nearly three months ago.
Kevin Valverde-Cruz has been charged with three counts each of aggravated assault and eluding law enforcement, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.
On Oct.18, Lakewood police officers tried to pull over a white Jeep Grand Cherokee they saw speeding — but the driver never stopped and the chase ended on the Garden State Parkway due to public safety concerns.
That same night, the Jeep was seen again in Lakewood, along the westbound shoulder of Central Avenue.
Detectives approached and spoke to the driver, who ignored directions and put the Jeep in reverse, hitting a police vehicle.
He then veered into the road, almost hitting police and took off.
One of the officers fired a shot at the side of the Jeep.
A few days later on Oct. 22, a Lakewood officer tried again to pull the same Jeep over, in the area of Third Street and Clifton Avenue.
Instead, the driver speed up and took off toward Madison Avenue.
An investigation involving Lakewood Police, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit found that Valverde-Cruz was the driver in each incident.
On Tuesday, the Ocean County Regional SWAT carried out a search warrant at Valverde-Cruz’s residence, finding the Jeep and taking the man into custody.
Valverde-Cruz was being held at Ocean County Jail, pending a detention hearing.