YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: One suspect was chased down while running barefoot, while another was caught hitching a ride — both carrying heroin — after they left their car stranded in a snowbank, New Milford Police Chief Frank Papapietro told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon.
Officers responding to a 911 call found the car stuck in the snow at Birchwood Road and Dalia Drive around 10:30 Wednesday night, Papapietro said.
While Officer Derek Mattessich stayed with the vehicle, he said, Sgt. William Duby traced footprints in the snow a half-mile or so before spotting 21-year-old Jordan Richter of Cresskill walking quickly ahead of him near the Brookchester Apartments on Boulevard.
Questioned by the sergeant, Richter said the car belonged to his friend. Then he took off on foot, the chief said.
“He was wearing some kind of clogs,” Papapietro said. “They both came off during the chase, but he kept running barefoot through the snow.”
Duby and Officer Darrell Marshall found Richter a short time later trying to hide in a garage on Bulger Avenue, he said. He tried to run, but they grabbed him, Papapietro said.
Retracing his steps, the officers fund 40 envelopes of heroin tossed into a stairwell, the chief said.
At the same time, Lt. Thomas Johnson stopped a Jeep several blocks away after a witness reported seeing the driver pick up a passenger.
The driver said he was flagged down and asked for a ride by 19-year-old Christopher Stone of Dumont — who, Papapietro said, had been driving the car that rammed the snowbank.
Detective Lt. Frank Ramaci and Detective Kevin Van Saders said they found Stone carrying 31 envelopes of heroin, along with drug paraphernalia and a knife.
He was charged with possession of drugs, a weapon and narcotics paraphernalia. Stone also received summonses for having drugs in a vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident.
Richter was charged with resisting arrest, burglary and having drugs within a school zone.
Both were released pending Municipal Court hearings.
Duby injured his knees and shoulders but has remained on active duty, Papapietro said.
“It was a great job of teamwork all around,” the chief said. “Unfortunately, it shows the availability of heroin in the suburbs.”