Prosecutor on fiery Jersey City crash: Withhold judgement until probe is finished

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Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez is asking the public to withhold judgement of their investigation of a fiery car crash in Jersey City where an innocent man appeared to be the victim of police brutality.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I am asking the community to withhold any judgment until the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor concludes its investigation,” Suarez said in a statement tonight.

“There will be a swift and fair review of all the evidence being accumulated, but it would be irresponsible to rush to judgment without reviewing all of the facts before us.”

Late Sunday evening, Jersey City police attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of Ocean and Cator Avenues. The vehicle fled the area and was pursued by the officers, authorities said.

As he fled, the driver was involved in at least two separate automobile crashes. The first crash occurred as the driver attempted to drive between two lanes of traffic while traveling on Tonnelle Avenue and officers fired multiple shots at the suspect during this time, officials said.

Several blocks later, the driver crashed into a utility pole causing a fire and injuring an innocent male victim who was also driving on Tonnelle Avenue, authorities said.

In a viral video of the aftermath of the crash (embedded above via ABC News), Jersey City police officers are shown kicking the innocent victim who is on fire, 28-year-old West New York resident Miguel Feliz.

The Jersey City Police Officer’s Benevolent Association have defended the officers actions, claiming they acted swiftly to extinguish the flames.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has condemned the way the incident was handled, saying the officers are being identified and the city is considering termination and/or criminal charges.

In her statement from this evening, Suarez said the investigation will be comprehensive, reviewing over five vehicles that were involved in the crash, 15 videos containing many hours of evidence, interviewing over 20 witnesses and conducting a ballistics investigation.

“We will consider this evidence in its entirety as we investigate the actions of all individuals who were involved with the events of Sunday night in Jersey City and we are asking for patience from the public,” added Suarez, also thanking the members of the public who have come forward with video footage of the incident.

Anyone with additional information or video about this case is asked to contact 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.