A Bridgewater man was arrested in Newark Tuesday after leading police on a wild chase through the city and ramming a police car, Newark Det. Todd McClendon said in a statement.
Around 4 p.m. Tuesday, members of the Newark Police Department’s fugitive unit witnessed what appeared to be a drug deal between a motorist and a pedestrian at Clinton and Thomas streets. When officers turned around to investigate, the pedestrian fled on foot and the motorist, 38-year-old Joshua Hilderbrand, sped off, McClendon said.
Police pursued the vehicle, a 2013 Dodge Avenger, to Pennsylvania Avenue, where Hilderbrand came to a stop. When officers left their car to approach Hilderbrand’s vehicle, however, he took off again.
Still in pursuit, police pulled alongside Hilderbrand’s car near Rte. 21 and Miller Street in Newark, where he was stuck in traffic. Hilderbrand reportedly put the car in reverse, hitting a police car and another vehicle, then took off again south along Rte. 21 toward I-78, McClendon said. An occupant of the vehicle was hurt and taken to University Hospital.
Police arrested Hilderbrand after one of his tires blew out on I-78 and he struck a light pole and highway barrier. Hilderbrand sustained minor injuries in the crash, McClendon said.
Hilderbrand—who was reportedly seen throwing items out of the window in the course of the pursuit and had cocaine and heroin in the car—was charged with several narcotics offenses as well as eluding, resisting arrest and aggravated assault. He was also charged with using his car as a weapon.