by Mark Spivey
FREEHOLD – A Middlesex County man has been arrested and charged in connection with a hit-and-run incident that left an off-duty Aberdeen Police Department official hospitalized earlier this week, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Wednesday.
Christopher Uszenski, 49, of Old Bridge is charged with first-degree Attempted Murder and third-degree Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Collision with Serious Bodily Injury.
Shortly before 12:15 p.m. on Monday, February 21, members of the Aberdeen Police Department responded to a call for service originating from the area of North Concourse and Wayside Drive in the Cliffwood Beach section of the Township. Arriving officers found the victim, Lt. Craig Hausmann, at that location, having sustained injuries caused by a vehicle that had already left the scene, according to the preliminary investigation.
Authorities learned that Hausmann had been attempting to stop the motorist in question from driving erratically in the area when he was struck. The investigation, which also involved members of the Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team (SCART) and Keyport and Old Bridge police departments, quickly led to Uszenski being identified as a suspect, and he and his vehicle, a Nissan Altima, were located on Pomona Boulevard in Old Bridge shortly thereafter.
Following his arrest, Uszenski was lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending a first appearance to take place in Monmouth County Superior Court.
“The speed and professionalism with which this investigation was conducted was nothing short of extraordinary, and we’re pleased that the person responsible has been identified and apprehended,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey. “We’d also like to wish Lt. Hausmann a swift and thorough recovery, and let him and his Department know that they have our firm support.”
Hausmann is a 20-year veteran of his Department who currently oversees its Administration Division, according to Aberdeen Police Chief Matthew T. Lloyd.
“Lt. Hausmann remains hospitalized in stable condition, and on behalf of the entire Department, we extend to him our very best well-wishes,” Chief Lloyd said. “Despite being off duty, he nonetheless was leveraging his many years of experience in vigilantly seeking to keep his community safe at the time of his injury, and we cannot commend those efforts enough.”
If convicted on the Attempted Murder charge, the defendant would face a term of up to 20 years in state prison.
If anyone has any information about or witnessed any portion of this incident, they are urged to contact Detective Thomas Manzo of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at (800) 533-7443 or Detective Bruce Monro of the Aberdeen Township Police Department at (732) 566-2054.
Despite the charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.