A Jersey City man was one of two men caught smoking weed inside a stolen vehicle on the George Washington Bridge early this morning, police said.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Anibal Rivera, 28, of Newark, was charged with theft by unlawful taking (auto), receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, driving under the influence of CDS, unlawful taking by means of conveyance, driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving, possession of CDS in a vehicle and impeding traffic, according to Port Authority police spokesman Joe Pentangelo.
Additionally, Brandon Eckhardt, 26, of Jersey City, was charged with theft by unlawful taking (auto), receiving stolen property and possession of CDS (marijuana), police said.
At around 1:20 a.m. today, Port Authority police on patrol on the upper level eastbound of the George Washington Bridge, saw a white 2016 Mercedes four-door sedan occupied by the suspects traveling at a very low rate of speed, impeding traffic, officials said.
Port Authority police drove alongside the Mercedes and saw the driver appeared to be asleep, so authorities pulled in front of the Mercedes in an attempt to stop the vehicle from further travel.
At this point, the front of the Mercedes made contact with the rear of the police vehicle. The car then slowed to a stop, and came to a rest against the railing of the bridge at the NJ Tower, police said.
The driver, Rivera, awoke and was interviewed, where police noticed a strong odor of burnt marijuana about the vehicle and there was a burnt suspected marijuana cigarette at the feet of the passenger, Eckhardt, officials said.
Both were placed under arrest and taken into custody after denying ownership of the vehicle, authorities said. The driver was administered a sobriety test which he failed, authorities said.
The actual owner of the vehicle was determined and was interviewed, who said they had taken the car to be washed and detailed, police said.
Police determined that Rivera was an employee of the auto detailing business and had taken the customer’s car without permission or authority to do so.