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Paterson Police Chase Down Fleeing Carjacker In Amazon Van -- With Driver Still Inside

The officers were headed to a call when they spotted the Amazon driver trying to bail out of the passenger side.
The officers were headed to a call when they spotted the Amazon driver trying to bail out of the passenger side. Photo Credit: Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale

WILD PURSUIT: A pair of Paterson police officers chased down and captured a carjacker who sped off in an Amazon Prime delivery truck with the driver still inside.

Officer Manuel Lojo and J. Murray were headed to a lower-priority call around 3:30 p.m. when they spotted the Amazon driver trying to bail out of the passenger side as the van blew a stop sign, city Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.

The abducted driver began waving furiously at the officers, who tried to pull over the van, Speziale said.

The carjacker -- identified as 37-year-old Rafael Rodriguez -- hit the gas instead, he said.

The officers pursued the van from Fulton and Straight streets to East 18th and Lafayette streets, where Rodriguez made a left onto the freight train tracks.

The van got stuck and he tried to run but was quickly seized by the officers, who were joined by Sgt. Troy Allen.

Rodriguez, who's believed to be homeless, was taken to headquarters for processing in advance of being sent to the Passaic County Jail.

Trains were held up while the van was removed.

"These officers are endowed with the necessary skills of good police officers," Speziale said. "They quickly recognized the situation for what it was, rescued the driver and took the suspect into custody without further incident."

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