A repeat offender from Dumont fled an attempted police stop in Old Tappan and was arrested after his car slammed into a tree, authorities said.
James Wilmarth, 33, already was awaiting trial for a Teaneck burglary when Officer Charles DiMaria began pursuing him for speeding on North Washington Avenue shortly after 9:30 p.m. Monday, Police Chief Joseph Tracy said.
Wilmarth apparently cut his headlights in an effort not to be detected when DiMaria caught up to him on Hampton Ridge Court, Tracy said.
Seeing the officer, Wilmarth hit the gas and turned onto Cripplebush Road, where he lost control of the vehicle, hitting a curb and then a tree, the chief said.
Wilmarth's criminal history stretches back to 2006, with mostly burglary and theft convictions out of Bergen, Burlington, Camden and Cape May counties, records show. He's been through drug court several times, served jail time, according to criminal records.
Old Tappan police took Wilmarth into custody following Monday night's crash and charged him with eluding, reckless driving, careless driving, as well as driving while suspended and not having proof of insurance, among several other counts.
He was sent to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained Thursday while awaiting a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.
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