One dead, others injured: Police cruiser hit in chain crash in Paterson

UPDATE: A Florida ex-con with a massive criminal record was driving an SUV that killed a pedestrian and injured several others in a horrific accident in downtown Paterson, authorities have revealed.

Harold Rasbin, 31, already had car theft convictions on his record – as well as a string of arrests for burglary, resisting arrest and assault dating back to the age of 15 – when a police officer responded to a break-in call. spotted him shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.

Rasbin took off on foot, jumped into a Honda that had been left running on Oliver Street and sped towards the heart of Silk City as the officer tried to scale an Ellison Street backyard fence that gave in, they said. He was then hospitalized.

The SUV, meanwhile, hit a stopped Paterson police vehicle that was “parked on the side of the road” at the corner of Main and Market streets, then hit another car and sped into crowds of civilians said Passaic County District Attorney Camelia M. Valdes. and Paterson Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora said in a joint announcement.

It was a gruesome scene that many probably wished they hadn’t witnessed: In the middle of the wreckage lay the body of a man on his back, arms outstretched, upper body apparently crushed under the front wheel of the the Honda.

Among the crowd of onlookers on all sides were those who stood in stoic silence while others gasped in shock. Many recorded the carnage on cellphone video.

Authorities have not identified the deceased victim. Five others were taken to nearby St. Joseph’s University Medical Center with various injuries, they said.

Rasbin bailed out but was quickly captured, Valdes and Baycora said.

No fewer than four ambulances were called to the scene.

The Passaic County District Attorney’s Fatal Accident Unit was called in, as well as forensic crime scene investigators from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office. New Jersey State Police were also at the scene. The area has been cordoned off indefinitely.

Rasbin remained detained Thursday on 16 counts in Passaic County Jail.

He is charged with aggravated manslaughter, death by car, leaving the scene of a fatal accident – as well as an accident involving serious bodily injury – as well as five counts each of charges. acts while operating a stolen motor vehicle, recklessly causing serious bodily harm and endangering an injured victim.

Rasbin has also been charged with escape, car theft and driving without a license and his first appearance is scheduled for Monday May 23 at Paterson Central Court.

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