FAIRFIELD, NJ – You can’t be in three places at one time and Fairfield police officers knew that when they contacted the owner of a car who fled them after being called for a disturbance on Route 80.
On Saturday, at approximately 12:13 am, the Fairfield Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting a large gathering of high-end vehicles on Route 80. The caller believed that the vehicles were preparing to race on the highway. The call was transferred to the New Jersey State Police and Fairfield officers responded to investigate.
It is alleged that upon arriving at the Route 80 East entrance ramp located on New Maple Avenue in Montville, Fairfield officers observed approximately 20 vehicles staging in the roadway. Upon the arrival of the police, several of these vehicles began to pull away and onto Route 80 East in an orderly manner. It is alleged that Fairfield officers recognized a grey Dodge Charger and its operator, Nicholas Slaaen, was among the vehicles at this location. It was at this point that the gray Dodge Charger struck a 2020 Mazda MX5. The Dodge then fled the scene onto Route 80 East.
At this point, Fairfield officers attempted to stop the Dodge but it failed to pull over, accelerated to a high rate of speed, and a brief pursuit was initiated. The pursuit was terminated when the speeds became unsafe and since the operator’s identity was known.
Fairfield officers then contacted Slaaen via telephone and requested that he surrender himself. It is alleged that Slaaen told officers that he was not the operator and that he was in Morristown,
N.J. and that his Dodge Charger was in Toms River, N.J. At approximately 1:30 AM, Livingston police later stopped the same Dodge Charger and found Slaaen to be the operator. He was taken into custody and turned over to Fairfield authorities and the Dodge Charger was impounded.
In addition to the criminal charges, Slaaen was charged with 13 motor vehicle violations. He was remanded to the Essex County Correctional Facility pending a hearing the superior court in Newark, N.J.