WILD CHASE: Fleeing Driver Makes K-Turn On Route 17, Goes Wrong Way In Mid-Morning Traffic

An unlicensed driver trying to shake pursuing police made a K-turn in mid-morning traffic on Route 17, drove the wrong way down the shoulder, then tried to ditch the unregistered, uninsured vehicle on a side street, authorities said.

Kareem Vaughn Hewitt
Kareem Vaughn Hewitt Photo Credit: BACKGROUND: Saddle River PD / INSET: BCJ

Kareem Vaughn Hewitt, 33, of Brooklyn got off of and onto Route 17 three separate times before he was caught on foot, Saddle River Police Chief Jason Cosgriff said.

Saddle River Police Officer Ryan Holdsworth tried to stop the Mercury Mountaineer for not having a front license plate on southbound Route 17 shortly before 9:30 a.m. Friday, the chief said.

As the officer began to close the distance, Hewitt suddenly exited onto East Allendale Road from the center lane, Cosgriff said.

Hewitt "appeared close to flipping over multiple times" before cloverleafing back onto Route 17, this time heading north, he said.

He accelerated to 80 miles an hour before suddenly slamming on the brakes and cutting the wheel hard to the right, Cosgriff said. This left the Mercury perpendicular to traffic, he said.

Hewitt then made a three-point K-turn in the right and center lanes, drove south on the northbound shoulder and once again exited at East Allendale Road, the chief said.

An alert to area departments went out.

Moments later, Holdsworth and Upper Saddle River Police Officer Anthony Pullizano each spotted the wagon from their vehicles on Mohegan Trail.

Seeing them, Hewitt sped westbound onto East Allendale Road and back onto northbound Route 17, Cosgriff said.

Both officers eventually pulled back out of public safety concerns as Hewitt exited onto Mountainview Road in Upper Saddle River, he said.

Saddle River Detective Michael Cooper and Lt. Edward Giannotti finally nabbed Hewitt as he tried to tip away from the Mercury on Schindler Court, the chief said.

The Mountaineer turned out to be unregistered, uninsured and bearing a Virginia vanity plate from a 2021 Dodge wagon, Cosgriff said. Hewitt, meanwhile, was on the revoked driver's license list, he said.

A consented search turned up 20 Xanax pills in a bottle that had the patient's name scraped off, the chief added.

Hewitt was charged with resisting arrest by eluding, disorderly conduct and drug possession. He also received a half-dozen summonses. Turns out he was also wanted on a warrant out of Newark.

Hewitt remained held Monday in the Bergen County Jail.

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