A Jersey Shore man stopped by a Garfield police officer on Friday hopped out of his car and into the Passaic River, authorities said.
Officer Jaroslaw Wdowiak stopped the 46-year-old driver from Toms River in the parking lot of the Custom Gas Station at the intersection of River Drive and DeWitt Street shortly after 12:30 p.m.
Wdowiak was returning to his cruiser to write summonses when the driver suddenly got out, dashed around a fence and clambered down the riverbank and into the water, Deputy Police Chief Ronald Polonkay said.
Two civilians helped the officer pull the man from the river, Polonkay said. Lt. John Lesica arrived and helped hold him, the deputy chief said.
They had to call city firefighters and members of the Garfield Police Emergency Service Unit to get the man up the steep riverbank, Polonkay said.
A Hackensack University Medical Center ambulance took the driver to New Bridge Medical Center for the treatment of minor injuries and an evaluation.
Motor vehicle summonses and a hindering charge were pending.
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