Suspect In Stolen Flatbed Truck Chase That Ends In Ramapo ID'd, Charged

A New Jersey man was apprehended on Route 59 in Rockland County after leading police from both states on a chase in which the stolen flatbed tow truck he was driving hit three police vehicles, New York state police said.

Paul T. Gudanowski

Paul T. Gudanowski

Photo Credit: New York State Police
The stolen flatbed truck after the chase finally ended late Monday morning on Route 59 in Hillburn.

The stolen flatbed truck after the chase finally ended late Monday morning on Route 59 in Hillburn.

Photo Credit: Suffern Police

The East Rutherford Police Department of New Jersey began pursuing the stolen flatbed at around 8:15 a.m. and entered the I-87 at Exit 15A.

The flatbed, driven by 50-year-old Paul T. Gudanowski of Wood-Ridge, continued northbound until Exit 15 (Harriman), making an illegal U-Turn, continuing southbound, then intentionally striking two different police cars, disabling both, New York state police said.

Gudanowski continued southbound, leaving the thruway at Exit 15A and traveling onto Route 17, where he struck the East Rutherford PD vehicle, according to police.

Gudanowski was taken into custody on Route 59 in Hillburn. 

The truck was stolen from Bergen Brookside Auto Body & Towing in Hackensack, according to CBS New York. The chase started when it traveled up Route 17 with numerous police cars in pursuit. The shop's owner told CBS New York he believes the flatbed was stolen around midnight. They were able to track it down through a GPS device.

Police say he was charged with:

  • Criminal possession of a stolen vehicle in the third degree
  • Criminal mischief in the third degree
  • Assault in the second degree
  • Unlawful fleeing in the third degree
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Resisting arrest
  • Numerous vehicle and traffic violations

The status of Gudanowski's arraignment has not yet been determined, police said.

Both troopers whose cars were hit by the flatbed sustained minor injuries and were treated and released from St. Luke's Hospital. The East Rutherford PD officer was not injured.  

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