YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A man who crashed his car in Paterson following a chase along Routes 80 and 20 following a botched holdup this morning lost his job with the city of Englewood DPW last December, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
ANOTHER EXCLUSIVE: A former Englewood DPW worker admitted that he botched a holdup at a pharmacy in town before leading police on a chase on Routes 80 and 20 that ended when he crashed a minivan several times in Paterson, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned. READ MORE….
Tuaheed Ameen Shabazz, 52, of Paterson donned a black hoodie with the drawstring pulled tight before he entered Pastor Pharmacy on Grand Avenue in Englewood at 10:38 a.m., Police Chief Arthur O’Keefe told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Owner Layak Gupta, sensing trouble, immediately hit the alarm button while his wife locked herself in a storage room in back.
The 62-year-old Gupta headed for the back door and was confronted by Shabazz, O’Keefe said. They wrestled a bit, with the owner falling and the would-be robber fleeing without taking anything.
“He sustained some minor bumps and bruises in the struggle, but nothing serious,” the chief told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “However, it was enough to scare the suspect off.”
After Englewood police broadcast an alert, Leonia Officer Steven Oxnard spotted the getaway minivan and tried to pull it over.
But it kept going onto Route 80 westbound, with Oxnard in pursuit, at speeds of up to 85 miles an hour, Leonia Police Chief Jay Ziegler told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . Within moments, a New Jersey State Police trooper joined the chase.
Shabazz turned off at Exit 60 onto Route 20 north in Paterson, the chief said.
He then exited at Market Street, where the minivan crashed into another car with a female occupant, a STOP sign, Oxnard’s patrol car and another vehicle.
“Then he just gave up, got out of the car and started running,” Ziegler said.
Paterson police grabbed Shabazz a block away.
Witnesses confirmed he was the same person who fled the crash, the chief said.
Leonia charged the 5-foot-6 Shabbazz with eluding and brought him back to Englewood, where he was charged with armed robbery. Detectives also obtained a search warrant for the mini-van.
Charges are also being drawn up by police in Paterson.
Englewood officers were actually speeding toward Lake Street, around the corner from the pharmacy, after getting a call from an alert witness who said a suspicious-looking man was changing clothes inside a parked minivan, O’Keefe told
That’s when the robbery call came in.
Oxnard spotted the minivan moments later.
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