Paul Gudanowski Stole A Flatbed Truck And Led Police On A Multi-State Pursuit
At some point during the pursuit, a East Rutherford, New Jersey Police vehicle involved in the pursuit inadvertently became hooked to the back of the stolen truck and was dragged for miles with the Police Officer inside.
The incident began in Hackensack, New Jersey, when the truck’s owner reported it stolen from Bergen Brookside Auto Body and Towing on Monday morning. The truck’s location was tracked through GPS, and East Rutherford Police Officers saw it on Route 17, also on Monday morning. The Officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver fled north on Route 17. As the stolen vehicle approached the New York State Thruway, an East Rutherford Police Officer’s vehicle became ‘hooked’ to the stolen truck. The driver of the stolen vehicle continued to refuse to stop and the pursuit continued, with the Officer and his police vehicle being dragged behind the truck.
The New York State Police were called in to assist at about 8:30 AM, and fell in behind the driver of the stolen truck, which was travelling north on the New York State Thruway toward Woodbury in Orange County. Capt. Richard Mazzone, New York State Police, said that the driver of the truck did a U-turn and began traveling south on the New York State Thruway. He said that the truck hit two NYS Police vehicles who were involved in the pursuit and then exited the Thruway. Eventually, the truck was stopped on Route 59 in Hillburn, near the Suffern border. The chase lasted approximately 43 minutes. A witness said that the fleeing truck dragging the Police Officer and his vehicle was traveling between 80 and 85 mph.
The incident was captured on Facebook video. The two New York State Troopers whose vehicles were struck by the fleeing truck suffered non life-threatening neck and back injuries. Gudanowski, age 51, of Wood-ridge, New Jersey, was charged with multiple charges in both New York and New Jersey including Driving While Intoxicated, Criminal Mischief, Assault With Intent to Cause Injury to a Police Officer, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Reckless Endangerment, Resisting Arrest, and Unlawful Fleeing Police. He will be extradited to New Jersey at a later date. The East Rutherford Officer was not injured. Gudanowski was treated for minor injuries. No one else was injured.
We are glad that the Police Officers involved in this pursuit only received minor injuries.