NEW JERSEY - A New Jersey man faces multiple charges after he allegedly ran over a woman, repeatedly, when she attempted to take pictures of his vehicle following a collision.
According to the Union County Prosecutor's Office, Vincent Jean, 56, of Elizabeth, was driving a Mitsubishi SUV on Tuesday at about 8:30 a.m. when it collided with a 23-year-old woman's vehicle in the area of Salem Avenue and Aberdeen Road in Elizabeth.
Witnesses told prosecutors that Jean attempted to flee the scene and the woman, who was standing on the sidewalk, began taking photos of his car in order to be able to identify him to the police.
That's when Jean drove directly at the woman who ran onto a lawn. Jean then drove onto the lawn and struck the woman, backed up, and ran over her a second time, said prosecutors.
Police responded to a 911 call about the injured woman and found her lying on the lawn with severe injuries.
Jean fled the scene but was found sitting in his car parked on Jefferson Avenue. The SUV was visibly damaged, added police.
The victim was rushed to University Hospital in critical condition. Her family issued the following statement Thursday:
"The family would like to express its gratitude for the expedient response to this incident by the Union County Prosecutor's Office, the Elizabeth Police Department, EMS workers as well as Elizabeth Mayor, Chris Bollwage. We also want to thank the citizens of Elizabeth for their aid and support, especially the school bus driver who intervened and the neighbor who provided the security camera footage of this horrific crime.
Vincent Jean, 56, of Elizabeth, N.J., is accused of running over a woman, repeatedly, with his SUV after he collided with her vehicle in Elizabeth, said the Union County Prosecutor's Office.
"Your actions and cooperation with law enforcement led to the quick apprehension of the perpetrator. These collective efforts along with the hard-working and diligent actions of the doctors and healthcare professionals at University Hospital, saved our daughter's life.
"What this man did to our daughter was atrocious and no parent, child or any human being should ever have to endure this.
"We want to be clear that this was not the result of any domestic dispute. This man was a complete stranger who committed a heinous act of road rage and attempted to kill our daughter simply because she was trying to get necessary information to lawfully report an accident while he was fleeing the scene.
Although we are heartbroken and deeply saddened by what happened, we are thankful that our daughter is alive. We are now focused on her care and recovery and will rely on the law enforcement professionals and the court system to dispense justice. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support but we ask that you respect our family's privacy during this time."
Jean was charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, third-degree assault by auto, third-degree leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident with serious bodily injury, third-degree endangering an injured victim and third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
He was held at the Union County jail pending a court appearance.
Police asked anyone with information about the incident to contact Detective Thomas Koczur 908-358-9675 or Detective Edward Benenati at 908-328-6972.