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Clifton Police Officer Dragged On Route 21, Climbs Into Fleeing Car

Israel Colon Jr.
Israel Colon Jr. Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy CLIFTON PD

A Clifton police officer being dragged by a wanted Garfield driver he’d just pulled over on Route 21 climbed in through the passenger window and finally got him to stop about a quarter-mile later, authorities said.

The 2015 Chevy Cruze was “riding the shoulder of the highway and passing other vehicles in bumper-to-bumper traffic” on the northbound highway when Officers Matthew Phillips and Christopher O'Brien pulled it over near Ackerman Avenue, Sgt. Robert Anderson said.

After speaking with the driver, 30-year-old Israel Colon Jr., the officers ran a computer check and discovered outstanding arrest warrants from Jersey City and Garfield, Anderson said.

They then returned to the car and asked Colon to step out, the sergeant said.

“He repeatedly refused and then began to drive away,” Anderson said.

Phillips “attempted to reach into the vehicle to prevent Colon from driving away,” but Colon hit the gas -- “with half of the officer's body inside of the window,” the sergeant said.

Phillips “was forced to enter the passenger seat of the vehicle to avoid being dragged along the highway,” he said.

The officer then ordered Colon to stop several times before he finally did, Anderson said.

O'Brien, following in the police vehicle, helped Phillips take him into custody, he said.

A judge ordered that Colon remain held in the Passaic County Jail pending further court action on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer and eluding. He also received several traffic summonses.

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