BRIDGEWATER – A North Carolina man threatened another driver with a handgun in a road rage incident before leading police on a chase across several major highways, including the New Jersey Turnpike, State Police said.

Russell T. Brown, 62, of Shallotte, North Carolina, faces charges that include aggravated assault and aggravated assault against a trooper, as he at one point rammed into a marked State Police vehicle, according to State Police.

The incident unfolded Friday afternoon in Morris County, when a person called police reporting that a minivan driver in a white Chrysler Town and Country had pointed a handgun at the caller.

State Police eventually caught up to the minivan along the Turnpike (Police in Action via Youtube)
State Police eventually caught up to the minivan along the Turnpike (Police in Action via Youtube)

It was reported along Route 287 southbound in Morris Township.

Troopers responded to the area and saw the Chrysler still headed southbound, following the minivan as it turned onto Route 78 eastbound.

Along a stretch of the highway in Bridgewater, troopers tried to pull the minivan over, setting off their flashing lights and verbally urging the driver to stop, using the vehicle’s public address speakers.

Brown briefly got out of the minivan, but after several minutes got back inside and pulled away, police said.

The police chase continued along portions of Routes 78 and 287, County Route 622 in Middlesex County (River Road), Route 18 and then the Turnpike.

The minivan struck a State Police vehicle during the chase along Route 18, police said.

Just before 6 p.m., troopers stopped the Chrysler on the southbound side of the Turnpike in Mansfield Township, Burlington County.

Brown was then physically removed from the vehicle and arrested, after State Police said he did not listen to orders to get out.

Dramatic aerial video of the last several minutes of the chase was shared to Youtube.

A female passenger in the minivan was initially arrested, but police later determined that she had been an unwilling participant and she was not charged.

During the investigation, police recovered a handgun in the Chrysler.

In addition to the aggravated assault counts, Brown was charged with possession of a firearm without a permit, possession of a firearm for unlawful purpose, resisting arrest, eluding arrest and obstruction of justice.

He was being held at Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

The case was being handled by both the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

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