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Prosecutor: NJ Driver Charged With Attempted Murder For Hitting Men With Dodge Durango

William D. Hoke, Jr.
William D. Hoke, Jr. Photo Credit: Somerset County Prosecutor's Office

A Somerset County man was charged with attempted murder after intentionally hitting two men with his car after patronizing the same local bar in 2019, authorities said.

Surveillance tapes captured a 2020 Dodge Durango registered to William D. Hoke Jr., 47, driving up and down East Main Street in Bound Brook before entering Lot 3 around 1:40 a.m. on Dec. 20, 2019, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson said.

Once inside the lot, he hit a 31-year-old Bloomfield man and 36-year-old Bound Brook with his car, propelling them more than ten feet into a parked car, Robertson said alongside local police.

The Durango, driven by Hoke, then sped away from the lot and went northbound on John Street, Robertson said.

An investigation found that Hoke and the two victims had been patronizing a local bar before the incident, authorities said.

The two men were found at the scene with multiple injuries, Robertson said. One was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment, and another refused treatment at the scene, authorities said.

Hoke was taken into custody that same morning, and lodged at the Somerset County Jail. The State filed a motion seeking an order detaining Hoke pending trial under the Bail Reform Act of 2017. 

On Jan. 3, 2020, the State’s motion was denied and Defendant Hoke was later released from custody.

 County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Detective John W. Fodor and Bound Brook Chief of Police Vito Bet announced the indictment issued by a Somerset County Grand Jury on Feb. 24, 2021, charging Hoke, of Bernardsville, with two counts of first degree attempted murder and related criminal offenses.

In addition to two counts of first degree attempted murder, the Grand Jury also charged Hoke with third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, third degree leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in serious bodily injury, and two counts of third degree endangering an injured victim. 

An arraignment on the indictment will be held within two weeks. The State will be represented by Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Murphy.

Anyone with information relating to this incident is urged to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office at (908) 231-7100 or the Bound Brook Police Department at (732) 356-0800 or via the STOPit app. 

The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). 

All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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