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Authorities: Ex-Con Who Fought Police Over Officer's Gun Injures Six In NJ Turnpike DUI Crash

Lonnie Clark
Lonnie Clark Photo Credit: BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

A Jersey City ex-con who was freed after a fierce struggle with Hoboken police three months ago was ordered released by another judge barely 24 hours after authorities said he caused a pre-dawn DUI crash that injured six people on the New Jersey Turnpike in Bergen County.

Lonnie Clark had served state prison time for a 2015 lewdness conviction involving children and, before that, for a 2007 conviction for selling drugs, NJ Department of Corrections records show.

A judge released him last September pending trial following a sexual contact and weapons arrest, records show.

He was arrested again in April during what authorities said was a "life and death" struggle with three Hoboken officers as he tried to snatch the gun from one of them.

A judge released Clark five days later, citing a combination of New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law and the coronavirus epidemic.

Clark was driving a Honda Civic that collided with a Chevy Spark on the northbound Turnpike in East Rutherford shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday, NJ State Police Trooper Charles Marchan said.

The impact of the crash knocked the SUV over, Marchan said Thursday.

All six occupants – believed to be a family from Florida – were taken to a local hospital with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening, responders said.

State Police charged Clark with six counts of vehicular assault, as well as DUI, obstruction and hindering. 

He also received several summonses and was sent to the Bergen County Jail.

A judge in Hackensack then ordered Clark released following a detention hearing on Wednesday.

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