Springfield police report that an attempted car theft sent a man to the hospital and led law enforcement on a multi-town chase last week.
Shortly before 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23, employees contacted Springfield police with a report that a motor vehicle had been stolen from the store's parking lot. Officer Michael Lagola responded to the call and found an injured man lying in the parking lot. Lagola determined a car had been stolen and the driver of the car had struck the man before speeding onto Route 22 East.
The victim, a 26-year-old Linden resident, was suffering from multiple fractures, having been first struck by and then driven over by the stolen car. After checking the victim's condition, Lagola radioed in the description of the stolen car, a 2001 4 door Audi.
Within minutes of Springfield PD issuance of the alarm, the Union Police spotted the car on Route 22 East in heavy traffic. Police reportedly chased the car until the stolen vehicle crashed and caught fire on Route 22 East near the Hillside border.
Police say that following the crash, the driver, Dashon Richardson, 26, of Newark, fled from stolen vehicle on foot and attempted to carjack a driver entering a nearby parked car. The victim was transported by Springfield EMS to the Morristown Memorial Hospital, a trauma center. After surgery, he was listed in stable condition.
Richardson had reportedly driven into the Guitar Center lot in a white four-door Volkswagon Jetta. Police say that car was driven onto Route 22 East ahead of the stolen Audi and disappeared into traffic after making a u-turn onto Route 22 West.
Springfield Police Detectives Keith Doherty and James Mirabile interviewed witnesses and then arrested Richardson while he was in the custody of Union Police. Richardson was charged with Aggravated Assault with a Weapon (the car being the weapon involved), Possession of a Weapon, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Theft of a Motor Vehicle and the Possession of Burglary Tools.
Richardson was remanded to the Union County Jail in Elizabeth NJ with bail set for the Springfield Police charges of $350,000. He has an initial appearance date in the NJ Superior Court-Union County in Elizabeth NJ set for Friday August 31. Richardson was also charged by Union Police with additional criminal offenses for his eluding police in the stolen car, resisting arrest and the attempted carjacking when he attempted to steal another car in his attempt to escape the pursuing Union police officers.