CVP EXCLUSIVE: “Someone could have been killed,” a judge in Hackensack yesterday told a Wallington motorcyclist as she sentenced him to probation for two years for leading a police chase while drunk.
Karol Brutkowski, 34, was clocked as fast as 72 miles an hour in a 25 mph zone and at times crossed into traffic, Superior Court Judge Margaret M. Foti said.
Foti said she’d have been more lenient if not for those factors.
Brutkowski accepted a pre-indictment plea, which allows prosecutors to avoid presenting a case to a grand jury — and produces more lenient sentences as a result.
Police said they tried to stop Brutkowski before dawn this past May 9 n Ridgefield Park but he took off at his high speed, pursuing officers behind him, before crashing the motorcycle into a utility box in front of Most Sacred Heart Church in Wallington.
Defense attorney Michael G. Brucki told the judge that Brutkowski — a native of Lozma, Poland and a naturalized U.S. citizen — had just bought the motorcycle.
He was “scared and didn’t know why he was being arrested,” the lawyer said. “That combined with the drinking was a volatile combination, and he used poor judgement.
“He fully acknowledges he was drinking. He has now gotten rid of the motorcycle.”
Brutkowski, meanwhile, told the judge that he was sorry while pleading guilty to drunk driving.
PHOTO: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia