BRICK – A New Year’s Eve arrest proved dangerous for a township police detective who was taking part in a narcotics investigation.
Around 12:20 p.m. on December 31, Township Police Street Crimes Unit detectives observed a suspected hand to hand drug transaction in the parking lot of the Wawa on Brick Boulevard.
After the two men later identified as 57-year-old Edwardo Lopez of Berkley Township and 39-year-old Ryan Chapman of Howell finished their transaction, they returned to their vehicles.
One of the detectives approached Chapman’s Honda Civic, while other Detectives followed Lopez’s Honda Accord out of the parking lot to stop it.
When the officers approached the Civic they observed Chapman about to inject drugs into his arm with a syringe.
After identifying himself to Chapman, the driver of the vehicle, 38-year-old Jill Farrelly of Howell, sped away.
As she fled, the side view mirror on the passenger’s side of the vehicle caught the Detective’s clothing and dragged him for over ten feet before he was flung off. Meanwhile, other Detectives had stopped Lopez’s vehicle.
The officer who received minor injuries was able to call out a vehicle description over the police radio.
Patrolman. Rob Scelfo was in the area and quickly located the vehicle. Farrelly and Chapman were taken into custody and the vehicle was impounded.
Once the Detectives stopped the black Honda Accord they discovered numerous drugs and paraphernalia in the vehicle. Lopez and his two occupants, 47-year-old Robert Brennan Jr. of Whiting and 28-year-old Alisha Yuhas of Toms River were also arrested.
Chapman was charged with Possession of Heroin and Paraphernalia, Conspiracy to Commit Eluding Resulting in Bodily Injury to the Officer, Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Assault to an Officer, Tampering with Evidence, Obstructing the Administration of Law, and Conspiracy to Commit Assault by Auto.
Farrelly was charged with Possession of Heroin and Paraphernalia, Eluding Resulting in Bodily Injury to the Officer, Aggravated Assault to an Officer, Tampering with Evidence, Obstructing the Administration of Law, Assault by Auto and multiple motor vehicle violations.
Brennan was charged with Possession of Heroin, Crack, Hypodermic Needles and Paraphernalia while Lopez was charged with Possession of Heroin and Paraphernalia, and motor vehicle violations. Yuhas was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Each of the five subjects were lodged into Ocean County Jail.
The Detective who was dragged by Farrelly and Chapman suffered deep contusions to his back, along with some bumps and scrapes. He was treated at Ocean Medical Center and released. He has not yet returned to duty.
Police Chief James Riccio commended the officers of the Street Crimes Unit as well as the members of the patrol division and detective bureau who were able to quickly make the apprehension without further incident.