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DWI Lodi Teacher Seeks To Block Evidence In Cop Crash

Defense attorney Brian Neary, Michael Ettz Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Danny Breslin Photo Credit: FAMILY PHOTO
Breslin's SUV after the crash. Photo Credit: Kevin Teel
The scene of the crash on Route 46 in Lodi. Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT

LODI, N.J. -- A defense attorney told a judge in Hackensack today that he is trying to suppress statements made by a high school math teacher whose car slammed into a police cruiser, critically injuring Bergen County Police Officer Daniel Breslin on Route 46 in Lodi in April 2014.

Brian Neary said he'll also try to stop prosecutors from presenting blood and urine evidence at what he expects will be a trial for Michael Ettz.

Neary has filed a motion to dismiss an indictment charging Ettz with aggravated assault and leaving the scene. He's also said his client "absolutely won't" take a plea deal.

Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Martin Delaney, who offered Ettz seven years in state prison in exchange for a guilty plea, said he'll fight to keep his statements at the scene and in the hospital on the record.

The blood and urine samples were legally obtained with a warrant, he said. There is also evidence from Ettz’s black box recorder that Delaney said will determine how fast he was going and whether he braked.

The presecutor earlier this year said an expert's report shows that Ettz had a blood-alcohol level of .219 that “greatly contributed to the accident.”

He said authorities also have surveillance video that shows his four-door 2012 Ford Fusion slamming Breslin’s SUV from behind with such an impact that it trapped the officer and activated the cruiser’s emergency lights.

Breslin stopped his SUV in the right lane of Route 46 to block traffic from hitting a county police car stopped on the right shoulder, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said after the crash. The other officer was having radio problems, he said.

Ettz, who'd had his license suspended 240 days for a DWI conviction out of Clifton, tried to make a run for it but was caught by a Lodi police sergeant, Molinelli said.

Breslin sustained a “significant head injury” and was brought to surgery with a skull fracture and bleeding. He also sustained several broken ribs and a collapsed lung and has had to undergo extensive therapy.

Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian said he'll set hearing dates for Neary's requests for late November and early December.

Ettz remained free on $150,000 bail.

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