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South Orange Man Jumps in River to Avoid Police

Reckless South Orange driver takes Bloomfield police on a wild ride that ends in arrest.

A South Orange man was arrested after he crashed into a tree and a Bloomfield patrol car and tried to run away from police by jumping into the Third River.

Bloomfield police arrested Malik Lawrence on Monday night. The incident began after Officer Robert Kish saw a black Jeep running a red light at the intersection of Watsessing and Bloomfield Avenues.

When the driver of the jeep refused to pull over, he continued westbound and struck the Bloomfield Avenue bridge at John F. Kennedy Drive South. The driver of the jeep drove against traffic and struck a tree on Conger Street.

When the officer pulled up to confront the driver, who turned out to be Lawrence, Lawrence put his car in reverse and crashed into Kish’s patrol car, injuring him in the process. Then Lawrence jumped out of his Jeep and ran into Watsessing Park, down an embankment and into the Third River.

Officers Kish and Bambera followed him into the river and arrested him after a struggle.

Lawrence was charged with eluding police, aggravated assault, leaving the scene of an accident and several motor vehicles offenses – including reckless driving and driving while suspended, in addition to other charges.

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