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Bergenfield police: Hit and run driver was drunk, asleep at the wheel

Photo Credit: Courtesy BERGENFIELD PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A hit-and-run driver was drunk when a patrol officer found him in his SUV – his door open, a set of keys and a cellphone on the ground next to the vehicle – Bergenfield police said.

Officer Jose Portorreal responded to the area of Woodside Ave and E. Main St on a citizen’s call of someone sleeping in the blue Nissan Pathfinder before dawn yesterday.

The vehicle had fresh damage on its ride side, Capt. Cathy Madalone said this morning.

Asleep behind the wheel was Ronald R. Rojas-Martinez, 23, of Belleville, she said.

As Portorreal approached, Rojas-Martinez awoke, snatched the keys and tried to put them in the ignition, Madalone said. He stopped when ordered to do so by the officer, she said.

Portorreal noticed that the red paint on the damaged blue car was similar to that of a vehicle struck earlier that night at the intersection of South Washington and Bergen Avenues.

Rojas, he said, “had slurred speech and an odor of alcohol emanating from his breath.”

Rojas failed a field sobriety test and was arrested, Madalone said.

He gave two breath samples at headquarters and was charged with DWI, leaving the scene of an accident and careless driving.

Rojas was released to his girlfriend with a Dec. 4 court date, Madalone said.




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