Man hangs onto SUV for mile, driver faces attempted murder charge
BELLEVILLE — The man who clung to his Lincoln MKC SUV after it was stolen from his home on Tuesday is fighting for his life after falling off and suffering several serious injuries, including a broken collarbone.
A doorbell video captured the image of James Dillon on the hood of the vehicle as it sped down a Belleville street. Belleville police said Dillon was taken to University Hospital after suffering head trauma and a broken collarbone. He fell off a mile away at Bridge Street near Mill Street, police said.
Lorenzo Esiahs, 18, of Newark, and a 17-year-old stole a 2016 Toyota Highlander from a home on Prospect Street earlier Tuesday morning and flipped it over in Newark, according to police. The pair went back to the home for a RAV4 but were scared off when the owner saw them, police said.
The pair then allegedly entered Dillon's home on High Street and took the keys to the Lincoln. The 59-year-old tried to block their getaway and jumped on the hood to try and stop them, according to police.
The SUV was later found in Newark after a short pursuit by Newark police. Esiahs and the teen were apprehended and taken into custody. The 18-year-old was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft, one count of carjacking, five counts of conspiracy, and one count of attempted murder, and is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility. Charges against the teen are expected to be announced on Wednesday.
A GoFundMe page created by Dillon’s daughter Angela said he suffered a fractured skull, ribs, and shoulder, and other lacerations throughout the body, plus bleeding on the brain.
Angela Dillon told CBS New York her dad is a truck driver.
"My father is the most hardworking man I know and would do absolutely anything to protect his family. He is and always will be my personal hero. With me going away to college, I am worried about his recovery and how to financially give him the support that he needs," Angela Dillon wrote on the page.
Belleville Mayor Michael Melham noted Tuesday was National Night Out and said his community has no tolerance for such a crime.
"This is a terrible community tragedy that we are all dealing with, our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the victim and his family," Melham said in a statement.
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