EXCLUSIVE REPORT: An Englewood Cliffs police officer was hospitalized after a carjacker crashed a stolen vehicle and then took off in a borough police cruiser on a low-speed chase through several towns before crashing on Route 4 in Paramus.
Officer Mark Krapels received injuries that Police Chief Michael Cioffi said weren’t life-threatening.
The carjacking victim also was hospitalized after hyperventilating, he said.
The carjacker — tentatively identified as 22-year-old Srimanta Kong — was being evaluated at Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus in the custody of county sheriff’s officers, the chief said.
The incident began just after 3 p.m. as the victim, a borough resident, headed down Castle Drive in her Mercedes with her two children — ages 11 and 13 — on her way to take one of them to a friend’s house, Cioffi said.
Kong was lying in the middle of the road, and the woman tried to steer around him, the chief said, when he jumped up and grabbed her door handle.
The woman got her children out of the car and Kong sped off with it, he said.
Krapels intercepted the car with his cruiser, which Kong rammed with the stolen vehicle, Cioffi told CLIFFVIEW PILOT while on his way to visit his officer.
Officer Daniel O’Shea picked up the chase, which headed to Montammy Golf Club in Alpine, where Kong bailed out of the car, the chief said.
O’Shea ran after him as Alpine, Tenafly and Palisades Interstate Parkway police rushed to the scene.
Kong then doubled back around, jumped into Englewood Cliffs Police Department car #263 and hit the gas.
The chase went through several towns — among them, Bergenfield, Dumont, New Milford and River Edge — with various police departments joining in along the way. They included the Bergen County Bureau of Police Services and New Jersey State Police.
At least two New Milford police cars were damaged in the chase, Cioffi said. The officers driving them were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
Kong eventually crashed on westbound Route 4 outside the Paramus Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership.
He tried to run but was quickly chased down and taken into custody — but not before biting a PIP police officer and trying to bite two others, the chief said.
A host of charges were expected.
CHECK BACK FOR MORE DETAILS
PHOTO: Izzy Infield