A 21-year-old Howell man struck by a car on the Garden State Parkway early this morning faces multiple criminal charges from Howell and Lakewood police. Brian Jones Jr., of Locust Avenue in Howell, was flown to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune after being struck on the highway at 2:35 a.m., police said. Hospital officials said he is in stable condition. Lakewood police received a report at about 1:35 a.m. Tuesday saying a car hit a pole at 200 River Avenue, also known as Route 9, said Lakewood police Detective Steve Wexler.
Lakewood police Officer Joseph Przewoznik found an abandoned white 1993 Cadillac crashed at the utility pole adjacent to a used car lot. Several cars in the lot had unlocked doors and the officer spotted a man, later identified as Jones, inside a red 1991 Chevrolet Geo, attempting to start the car, Wexler said.
Przewoznik ordered Jones to stop and get out of the vehicle, but he started the Geo and backed it up, hitting another vehicle in the lot several times, police said. Jones pulled out of the lot and drove south on Route 9, Wexler said. Przewoznik followed the Geo but broke off the chase at an entrance ramp to the Parkway in Toms River, Wexler said.
Jones drove south on the Parkway, crashing the Geo in Berkeley, authorities said.
He fled the crashed Geo, ran across the highway and was struck at about 2:35 a.m. by a 2001 Chrysler in the northbound lanes at milepost 77.8 in Berkeley, said State Police Sgt. Steven Burns.
Howell police Capt. Donna Craton said the owner of the Cadillac reported it stolen from the Wal-Mart parking lot on Route 9 at about 3:25 a.m.
Howell police Officer Matthew Cherney charged Jones with theft of a motor vehicle, burglary and driving while suspended. Lakewood police charged Jones with resisting arrest, obstruction, theft of a motor vehicle, eluding, possession of stolen property and drunken driving, Wexler said.
Lakewood police Officers Anthony Caraballo and Michael Mooney Jr. assisted Przewoznik. (APP-MARGARET F. BONAFIDE)