A Clifton police chase that began after a thief stole an unoccupied Bentley convertible while it was being gassed up in Garfield ended soon after it crashed in Newark, authorities said.
Officers Zakaria Bernardo and Matthew Fernandes were on patrol on Route 3 near Route 21 just after 3:30 p.m. Monday when they heard an alert that the car was stolen from a Wawa on Jewell Street – and that the nozzle from the gas pump might still be attached, Detective Lt. Robert Bracken said.
Moments later, they spotted the Bentley speeding down southbound Route 21, he said
The officers tried to get the driver – identified as Henry Asencio, 18, of Newark – to pull over, but he kept going, Bracken said.
The pursuit continued through northern, central and, eventually, southern Newark, where Asencio lost control of the Bentley and it struck a curb, flattening the tires, the lieutenant said.
Asencio bailed out of the moving car, which struck a tree, he said.
A perimeter was established with backup officers from Clifton and Essex County.
Soon after, an Essex County sheriff’s officer found Asencio hiding in a South 16th Street backyard, Bracken said.
Clifton police charged him with eluding and receiving stolen property and gave him several summonses, including for reckless driving and driving while suspended. He was then released, pending a detention hearing, under New Jersey’s 2017 bail reform law.
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