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Van Pursuit From NY State Ends In Paramus With Vehicles Struck, Philadelphia Driver Caught

INSET: Mark Simpson / Damaged Paramus police car
INSET: Mark Simpson / Damaged Paramus police car Photo Credit: ANTHONY DeFINA for DAILY VOICE / MUGSHOT: Courtesy PARAMUS PD

UPDATE: A multi-agency pursuit Thursday night that began in upstate New York ended 100 miles away in Paramus Thursday night after a Brooklyn man rammed two police cars with a U-Haul van that he was driving on two front rims and a rear flat tire, police said.

Mark Simpson, 31, got out of the van shortly after crashing around 10:30 p.m., then hopped the highway divider and ran behind the Suburban Diner before police nabbed him moments later, authorities said.

It began more than an hour and a half earlier with a theft from a Walmart in Catskill, NY, they said.

New York State Police said troopers stopped the van on southbound I-87 in Saugerties.

The passenger -- identified as Sheffield C. Brown III, 51, of Brooklyn -- got out and was being handcuffed when Simpson hit and gas and sped off, they said.

Troopers cruisers and dozens of other law enforcement vehicles were involved in the chase down the New York State Thruway, then onto southbound Route 17 in Mahwah, at speeds that responders said reached upwards of 90 miles an hour.

The U-Haul's front bumper was dragging along the road when it hit the police cars positioned by Paramus officers to stop it before any civilians were injured, Deputy Police Chief Robert Guidetti said Friday morning.

Officers Michael Mordaga and William Stallone captured Simpson at Harmon Drive and Middlesex Avenue, Guidetti said.

Simpson was being held in the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, eluding and possession of stolen property.

Brown, meanwhile, was taken to the Green County Jail on two counts of petit larceny.

No one was injured, authorities said.

Belfi's Towing removed the damaged police cars and the van.


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