Officer Skylar Cauceglia was patrolling the southbound Route 23 commercial strip Tuesday night when he spotted a car in the Burger King lot whose driver "appeared nervous and startled by the presence of the police car," Capt. Laurence Martin said.
Cauceglia recognized the driver, 30-year-old Christian Paul, who Martin said told the officer that he didn't want to be arrested.
Despite attempts to calm Paul down, "it became obvious that his agitation and anxiety was growing, as he paced in circles mentioning his warrant over and over again," the captain said.
Paul then suddenly bolted toward the Turf City indoor sports complex, he said.
Cauceglia chased him down in the parking lot, but Paul "continued fighting and wrestling" with him, Martin said.
A passerby dialed 911 with an "officer needs assistance" call, bringing backups, he said.
Paul "continued to fight and resist" before being pepper-sprayed and handcuffed, Martin said.
Police found him carrying 31 glassine bags of heroin stamped “SNAP CHAT,” 12 capsules of heroin and two hypodermic needles, he said.
The Wayne First Aid Squad treated Paul before taking him to St. Joseph's Hospital. Police impounded his car.
Cauceglia was treated for hand injuries at Chilton Hospital before being released.
Paul ended up in the Passaic County Jail pending a detention hearing on charges of:
- Aggravated assault on police;
- Resisting arrest by flight;
- Resisting arrest by force;
- Possession of heroin;
- Possession of drug paraphernalia;
- Possession of hypodermic needles;
- Failure to appear.
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