An Elizabeth man who was released by a judge after a young girl was seriously injured when he crashed a stolen car was busted for a carjacking in Fair Lawn, authorities said.
Byron L. Hernandez, 18, and Nicholas Greco, 19, of North Bergen, thought they’d hatched a fool-proof scheme to steal the vehicle from an unsuspecting victim, authorities said Tuesday.
It didn’t work.
Responding to report of a carjacking, Fair Lawn police found the 21-year-old owner and his passenger, Greco, at Memorial Park shortly before 1:30 a.m. last Friday, Sgt. Brian Metzler said.
Both the victim and Greco told them that two men in a red BMW pulled up and forced them out of the victim’s Toyota Corolla. One was holding a crowbar, they said.
The robbers took $25 before one drove off in the Corolla while the other fled in the BMW, the pair told police.
Suspicious of Greco's account, the officers turned the case over to Detective Brian Rypkema.
The detective determined that Greco was in cahoots with the carjackers and arrested him.
Hernandez was captured in Elizabeth soon after by Rypkema and Detective Anthony Lugo, Detective Sgt. Nicholas Snyder and Detective Lt. Tim O’Shaughnessy with help from city police, Metzler said.
North Arlington police had charged Hernandez with assault by auto and child endangerment in August after he crashed a stolen car into a Lyndhurst gas station canopy, seriously injuring his 16-year-old female passenger, following a police chase.
A Superior Court judge in Hackensack released him the very next day.
Hernandez this time has remained in the county jail since his arrest on Saturday. He’s charged with carjacking.
Greco has remained there, as well, charged with carjacking and conspiracy.
Police, meanwhile, continued looking for the other carjacker.
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