Lakewood car crash victim charged with auto theft, burglary
After two weeks on the mend, a car crash victim from Lakewood trades a hospital room for a jail cell.
Christian Hernandez-Ruiz, 42, faces burglary and auto theft counts connected to an investigation that began as a motor-vehicle violation stop on July 3 and left him injured when the car rammed a tree, according to information from the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.
Authorities say Hernandez-Ruiz was behind the wheel of the Cadillac DTS that Lakewood police tried to flag down, triggering a high-speed chase that police soon called off.
Hernandez-Ruiz's flight ended when the car careened out of control and hit the tree at New Hampshire Avenue and Oak Street, investigators said. He was hospitalized at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.
Ocean County investigators claimed that Hernandez-Ruiz clipped the car keys while burglarizing a residence, returning later for the car. A county judge approved an arrest warrant and set bail at $50,000.
On his release Sunday afternoon, Hernandez-Ruiz was met by Ocean County detectives who brought him to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River in lieu of bail, which carries no option for release on payment of 10 percent.
The Prosecutor's Office issues a reminder that charges are accusations, and that defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.