Dahmier Garvey, 23, and Johanna Bell, 19, got into his vehicle near the Red Carpet Motel on the eastbound highway early Sunday night, the 36-year-old victim from Wyckoff told responding officers.
He told them that there was no smoking in the vehicle, he said, and that Uber company police required that both wear COVID masks, Police Chief Michael Foligno said.
Bell, of Hawthorne wore a mask but Garvey didn’t, the chief said.
Garvey, of Paterson, had only just been paroled in February after serving 3½ years in state prison for armed robbery convictions involving bodily injury and drug possession in Passaic County, records show.
The driver told police that he asked Garvey at least five times during Sunday’s ride to put a mask on, he said.
He said he told both passengers that he would cancel the fare and drop them off if he didn’t.
Garvey then threatened him, saying: “I’ll f*cking punch you if you cancel the ride,” he said.
The driver then pulled into the parking lot of the Birchwood Deli liquor store on Mola Boulevard and told them to get out, Foligno said.
That’s when Garvey began punching him in the head, the chief said.
The driver reached into his side door panel, pulled out a can of pepper spray and blasted the ex-con, Foligno said.
They all got out and the driver began to run, but Garvey charged and tackled him, he said.
Garvey then punched him in the face, kneed him in the ribs and bit him on the right chest.
The driver sprayed Garvey again, giving him a chance to stand up and get some distance – at which point Garvey repeatedly shouted to Bell to “take the car!”
As she made her way to the open driver’s side door, the victim caught up to Bell and pepper-spray her, too, the chief said.
Police found the couple outside the liquor store complaining of pepper spray irritation and took both into custody, Foligno said.
The victim, meanwhile, had to taken by Little Falls BLS to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson for treatment of cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises on his face, right ear, head, hands, elbows and knees, as well as a large bite, he said.
Garvey and Bell remained held Monday in the Bergen County Jail pending first appearances in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack. Both were charged with attempted carjacking.
Garvey also was charged with aggravated assault, hindering and possession of roughly 350 heroin folds.
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