GREENWICH TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) – New Jersey State Police arrested Matthew Johnson, 32, of Hampton, N.J., who was a wanted fugitive, after leading troopers on a pursuit into Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Fugitive Unit, Troop “B” Tactical Patrol Unit, Perryville Station, the U.S. Marshals Service Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Fugitive Task Force, and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office were in the area of Valley Station Road in Warren County when they observed Johnson drive past them in a blue Chevrolet Silverado pick-up truck.
Troopers from the Troop “B” Tactical Patrol Unit observed Johnson, who was wanted for assault and terroristic threats, traveling on the entrance ramp to Interstate 78 west from Asbury-Bloomsbury Road. At 2:00 p.m., troopers in marked troop cars attempted to stop Johnson in the area of milepost 6.2 in Greenwich Township, but he refused to stop and accelerated.
Troopers continued to follow Johnson, with their lights and sirens activated as State Police dispatch notified and provided a vehicle description to the Pennsylvania State Police and Easton Police Department. Johnson was pursued into Pennsylvania where he exited Interstate 78 at Exit 75 in Easton as troopers continued to follow with the assistance of the Easton Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police. While southbound on North Folk Street, Johnson attempted to swerve head-on into a troop car, which was traveling northbound in the opposite direction. The trooper was able to take evasive action, but was struck on the driver’s side front and side door. After striking the troop car, Johnson struck a parked car and continued south on North Folk Street.
When Johnson attempted to make a right turn on West Nesquehoning Street, he lost control and struck a residence on the corner of North Folk and West Nesquehoning. After the collision, troopers pulled behind him, but he backed his truck into a troop car, forcing it into the roadway.
Johnson then fled west on West Nesquehoning, entering the intersection of West Nesquehoning and St. John’s Street where he struck a tractor trailer, causing his vehicle to become disabled. Johnson was then taken into custody without incident.
Officers recovered a black CO2 powered pellet gun, a small black revolver starter pistol, and methamphetamine from the inside of the pick-up. Detectives later discovered that the Silverado was a stolen vehicle out of Oxford.
Johnson was charged by the New Jersey State Police with eluding and receiving stolen property. Easton Police charged him with aggravated assault on law enforcement, recklessly endangering another person, eluding, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and receiving stolen property.
Due to injuries sustained in one of the crashes, Johnson was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, P.A. where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Upon being discharged from the hospital, Johnson will be taken to the Northampton County Jail.
No serious injuries were reported by law enforcement.
(Photo Courtesy: New Jersey State Police)