FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office now investigating fiery, controversial Jersey City crash

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The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are now a part of the investigation into a controversial, fiery Jersey City car crash that has already led to four cops being suspended and two deputy chiefs being reassigned.

A police chase ended in a fiery car crash in Jersey City last night. Screenshot via YouTube by user "0and2pressure."
A police chase ended in a fiery car crash in Jersey City last night. Screenshot via YouTube by user “0and2pressure.”

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The federal agencies are working with investigators from the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Internal Affairs Unit and each agency will contribute to the investigation by providing a different area of expertise, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in a statement.

The investigation is being conducted in compliance with Attorney General Directive 2006-5, as updated on July 28, 2015.

“We welcome the participation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI in our investigation,” Suarez said in the statement.

“This cooperative multi-agency effort will provide that which justice demands — a fair, expeditious, thorough and impartial determination of all facts. I continue to ask the public for patience as we review this matter in its entirety.”

On Sunday, June 4, shortly after 11:00 p.m., Jersey City police attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of Ocean and Cator avenues in Jersey City. The vehicle fled the area an was pursued by officers, authorities said.

The fleeing driver, Leo C. Pinkston, 48, of Jersey City, was involved in at least two separate automobile crashes. The first crash occurred as he attempted to drive between two lanes of traffic while traveling on Tonnelle Avenue, officials said.

Multiple shots were fired at the suspect by Jersey City police.

Several blocks later, Pinkston crashed into a utility pole causing a fire and injuring a male victim who was also driving on Tonnelle Avenue.

The victim, Miguel Feliz-Rodriguez, 28, of West New York, was transported by Emergency Medical Services to The Burn Center at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

His family has since started a GoFundMe page to help cover his medical costs.

Pinkston has been charged with eluding and aggravated assault. He is being held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility. His next court appearance is a detention hearing which is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 22.

Anyone with additional information or video about this case is asked to contact the the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office at 201-915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip on their  official website at: http://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/ .

All information will be kept confidential.

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