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Pair of wild chases for Leonia police

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Leonia police went on a pair of wild chases this weekend, one involving an unlicensed driver who raced down Broad Avenue in an unregistered, uninsured, uninspected vehicle and the other a motorcyclist who drove on the wrong side of the road and along the sidewalk to try and get away.


Leonia Police Officer Robert Kennedy was on traffic detail on Broad near Vreeland Avenue around 8:20 Sunday night when a car whizzed by, passing another on the right, Chief Jay Ziegler said.

Kennedy activated his cruiser‘s lights, swung the car around and began chasing the speeder, who Ziegler said was doing nearly twice the area’s posted 25mph speed limit.

The car crossed into the northbound lane and ran the red light at Fort Lee Road, sending pedestrians scurrying and nearly hitting other vehicles, as it barreled toward Palisades Park, the chief said.

When the car hit 80 miles an hour on Broad Avenue, Kennedy broke off the chase “due to the driver’s apparent disregard of safety for other motorists and pedestrians,” Ziegler said.

However, Palisades Park police picked up the pursuit as the vehicle took a right onto Highland Street, where the chief said the driver bailed out.

In the car, police found a U.S. passport with the driver’s name, two cell phones, a small amount of marijuana and a burnt “roach,” he said.

A computer lookup found that the driver, Jovan V. Acree, had more than $3,000 in unpaid traffic tickets from various jurisdictions, Ziegler said.

Within 20 minutes, police in Ridgefield had him in custody.

Acree “denied that he was the driver of the vehicle at first, until presented with his own passport,” Ziegler said.

At that point, he said: “It’s not like the car is stolen.”

His stack of traffic tickets increased significantly, with summonses for:

*Doing 46 mph in a 25mph zone;
*Doing 80 mph in a 25 mph zone;
*Driving an undisputed vehicle with a suspended license AND no insurance OR registration;
*Improper passing;
*Reckless driving;
*Careless driving;
*Failing to obey a traffic signal, maintain a lane, or yield to pedestrians;
*Improperly crossing the double-yellow line;
*Having drugs in the car.

But Acree also was criminally charged with eluding and and drug possession and taken to the Bergen County Jail, where he‘s being held on $25,000 bail pending a July 13 court hearing.

About 30 hours earlier, Leonia Police Sgt. Scott Tamagny was parked in the Parkway Toyota lot near the corner of Grand Avenue and Fort Lee Road when a motorcycle came blowing by, nearly hitting a vehicle as it crossed the double-yellow lines turning west toward Teaneck — with no license plate, Ziegler said.

Tamagny activated his overnight lights and the motorcycle appeared to stop when it suddenly roared off, crossing into oncoming traffic and turning left onto Station Parkway, the chief said.

The sergeant called in and the chase was on. CONTINUED….

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