A New Jersey man facing a host of charges after leading police from both states on a chase in which the stolen flatbed tow truck he was driving hit three police vehicles has been arraigned.
Paul T. Gudanowski was arraigned before the Town of Monroe Court and sent to the Orange County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $150,000 bond. He is scheduled to reappear on Jan. 6.
Gudanowski was apprehended on Route 59 in Rockland County late Monday morning after the wild chase that began when the East Rutherford Police Department began pursuing the stolen flatbed at around 8:15 a.m. and entered the I-87 at Exit 15A.
The flatbed, driven by the 50-year-old Gudanowski of Wood-Ridge, N.J., continued northbound until Exit 15 (Harriman), making an illegal U-Turn, continuing southbound, then intentionally striking two different police cars, disabling both, New York state police said.
Gudanowski continued southbound, leaving the thruway at Exit 15A and traveling onto Route 17, where he struck the East Rutherford PD vehicle, according to police.
Gudanowski was taken into custody on Route 59 in Hillburn.
The truck was stolen from Bergen Brookside Auto Body & Towing in Hackensack, according to CBS New York. The chase started when it traveled up Route 17 with numerous police cars in pursuit. The shop's owner told CBS New York he believes the flatbed was stolen around midnight. They were able to track it down through a GPS device.
Police say he was charged with:
- Criminal possession of a stolen vehicle in the third degree
- Criminal mischief in the third degree
- Assault in the second degree
- Unlawful fleeing in the third degree
- Driving while intoxicated
- Reckless endangerment
- Resisting arrest
- Numerous vehicle and traffic violations
The status of Gudanowski's arraignment has not yet been determined, police said.
Both troopers whose cars were hit by the flatbed sustained minor injuries and were treated and released from St. Luke's Hospital. The East Rutherford PD officer was not injured.