STAFFORD – In the middle of the night on Tuesday, August 8, a Stafford Police officer ended up chasing a 2006 Honda CBR motorcycle for over three miles after trying to pull the man over for a traffic violation on Route 72 West at Marsha Drive.
Patrolman Chris Smith turned the emergency lights on in his police car around 1 a.m. to pull over the motorcyclist, but 22-year-old Thomas J. Walton instead sped up in an attempt to get away from the officer. The Easthampton resident drove for three miles westbound on Route 72 at a high rate of speed, while Patrolman Smith followed him with his lights off from a safe distance. The chase escalated as Walton exited Route 72 at Jennings Road and ironically drove past the Stafford Township Police Department, heading west on East Bay Avenue toward the Route 9 intersection. He went through a red traffic light at the intersection, lost control of his motorcycle, and then struck a police car being driven by Stafford Patrolman Adam Sherer as he was driving north through the intersection.
Officer Sherer and Walton were both uninjured, and the motorcyclist was taken into custody after being cleared by the Stafford Township First Aid Squad.
An investigation showed that the motorcycle Walton was driving was reported stolen from Millville in July. Walton was charged with Eluding and Possession of Stolen Property and was served with numerous motor vehicle summonses. He also had three outstanding traffic warrants from arrests in Ship Bottom Boro, Bordentown Township and Westhampton that totaled over $1,200. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail.