TOMS RIVER – We now have a better idea as to why a woman suspect decided to jump into the Toms River on Friday, March 30th, setting off a massive response involving several Ocean County authorities. The incident also led to an officer needing 25 stitches.
According to Toms River Police, it all started when 62-year-old Daniel Menchise of Berkeley crashed his 2008 Chevy Malibu into the front of ShopRite on Route 37 West. Public Information Officer Ralph Stocco, Menchise had a medical boot on his foot that led to the crash as he was having trouble driving. After losing control of the vehicle, he hit the cement support column of the building.
That’s when the female passenger jumped out of the car and ran from the scene.
Almost an hour later, Officer Ryan Fitzgerald saw a woman walking on Lakehurst Road near the Garden State Parkway. She ran from him as he approached and the officer and the woman took a tumble down an embankment near the OHI Building.
Officer Fitzgerald suffered cuts and bruises including a deep laceration that required 25 stitches.
The woman jumped in the water near the Parkway and tried to swim away. She was picked up a few hours later after a resuce boat was dispatched.
The suspect is 36-year-old Loraine Niocolosi of Brick. She was charged with obstruction and faces a future court date and may have other charges added.
Menchise was charged with careless driving.