One-eyed man steals Newark fire truck from the scene of a car fire

NEWARK, NJ – A man who stole a Newark city fire department vehicle has been apprehended by police after being pursued through multiple jurisdiction.

Newark Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara reports that Newark Police arrested Hector Perez, 48, of Newark, in connection with the theft of a Newark Fire Division Vehicle yesterday.

“This suspect put not only his own life in danger, but jeopardized the lives of countless drivers and pedestrians citywide and outside of Newark by unlawfully operating a public safety vehicle,” Director O’Hara said. “I am grateful that he was apprehended before he harmed anyone or himself.”

Just before 4:10 p.m. Saturday, a Newark Fire vehicle was at Avon and Peshine avenues in response to a vehicle fire when a man entered the Fire Division’s vehicle and drove away.

“The vehicle was pursued through multiple jurisdictions by Newark Police with assistance from various law enforcement agencies until the vehicle was observed by Fairview Police,” O’Hara said. “The pursuit continued into Ridgefield Park and ended when the suspect drove to the end of a dead-end road in an industrial area and crashed at 200 Industrial Way.”

Newark Police arrested the suspect and took him into custody. Perez, who is disabled due to having only one eye, was apprehended at the scene and was uninjured. He faces charges of receiving stolen property, burglary, eluding, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for a lawful purpose. These charges are merely accusations. The suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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