NJ attorney general releases footage of police pursuit from fatal Glen Ridge crash

New Jersey's acting attorney general, Matthew Platkin, released footage Thursday of a police chase that ended in a deadly crash last month near the Glen Ridge train station while the incident remains under investigation.

The released materials include multiple videos from police cruiser dashcams and a body camera that were produced as officers from the Montclair Police Department attempted to stop a silver Hyundai sedan sought in what Platkin's office has called a "robbery investigation."

Gregory Dukes, 42, and Cecil Richardson, 47, both of Philadelphia, were killed when the Hyundai careened down an embankment into a wooded park near Bloomfield and Ridgewood avenues, the AG's office stated.

Todd Hill, 45, also of Philadelphia, who was driving the vehicle, was injured in the crash, but survived after he was rushed to University Hospital in Newark, the office said.

As of Thursday, he remained in custody at Essex County Correctional Facility, said Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly.

A silver Hyundai involved in a fatal crash in Glen Ridge on  May 10, 2022 is seen here in a  screengrab from a Montclair Police Department officer's body camera.
A silver Hyundai involved in a fatal crash in Glen Ridge on May 10, 2022 is seen here in a screengrab from a Montclair Police Department officer's body camera.

At approximately 4:30 a.m. on May 10, multiple police units responded to a 911 call, also released by Platkin, in which a man driving a Range Rover claimed he was following a car whose occupants had just robbed him.

"We’re on Elm [Street.] We just got robbed," he exclaims. "They took all my money, suitcases, everything," the man tells the dispatcher, adding that he’s continuing to follow the suspect until the cops arrive.

"They got a gun!” he said at one point during the call, though the AG's office did not state whether any of the suspects were armed.

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Dashcam footage from one of the responding Montclair police units shows the cruiser heading north on Maple Street past Glenfield Middle School until it comes to the corner of Bloomfield Avenue, where a silver sedan is stopped at a red light near at least two other Montclair police vehicles with their lights flashing.

In accompanying body camera footage from what appears to be a separate responding unit, an officer gets out of the car to approach the sedan, which quickly makes a right turn heading east as the officer yells, "Yo! Yo!" in an attempt to catch the driver's attention.

Dashcam footage from one of two police vehicles that swiftly follow the sedan onto Bloomfield Avenue show the suspect's car picking up speed, eventually traveling as fast as 64 mph on the four-lane county road, according to Platkin's statement.

As the sedan increases its distance from the Montclair vehicle, its tail lights remain visible until the car drifts left into the oncoming lane of traffic before the lights seem to disappear just after crossing Ridgewood Avenue.

By the time the police vehicle passes through the same intersection, it comes upon the crash site, with the silver sedan lying in a smoking wreckage in a wooded ravine near the Glen Gazebo.

The AG's office stated Hill lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree and that no other vehicles were involved in the collision.

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A police radio recording from the pursuit includes a responding officer who arrives at the scene of the crash and reports there are "three on the ground, one semiconscious," before correcting himself to say, "two possibly unconscious."

Dukes and Richardson were pronounced dead on the scene.

The Office of Public Integrity and Accountability continues to investigate the deadly incident, after which, the case will be referred to a grand jury.

Platkin's release did not state whether Hill faces charges at this time.

Dukes and Richardson's deaths occurred less than two weeks after Platkin repealed a December 2020 directive issued by former Attorney General Gurbir Grewal that limited officers' ability to conduct vehicle pursuits in light of a spate of deadly chases.

However, Grewal's directive included multiple carve-outs, allowing law enforcement to pursue a vehicle to prevent death or serious injury, or if the driver and other occupants are suspected of committing a crime of the 1st or 2nd degree, which would have included robbery, according to state criminal statutes, if the 911 caller's allegation that the suspect had a gun was accurate.

Nicholas Katzban is a breaking news reporter for NorthJersey.com. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

Email: katzban@northjersey.com 

Twitter: @nicholaskatzban 

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: NJ police pursuit: Footage released footage of fatal Glen Ridge chase