🚘 A stolen BMW injured a federal agent in NJ during a crash

🚔 3 young men and a teen were arrested after the Newark incident

🚨 Law enforcement say the case shows dangers they face in vehicle thefts

NEWARK — Three young men and a teenager were facing criminal charges after a U.S. Homeland Security agent was hurt and two police officers were struck by a luxury SUV reported stolen from a nearby town.

Law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels said the incident underscored the dangers they faced, in situations involving vehicle thefts.

The driver of a stolen BMW X6, 19-year-old Isaiah Griffin, of Newark, was accused of ignoring police commands when the vehicle was tracked to a parking garage, striking two officers while fleeing.

His passengers — 22-year-old Muhammad Lopez and 19-year-old Zanier Riley, both of Newark, and a 15-year-old juvenile — were also in trouble for allegedly running from the scene.

Newark stolen BMW crash arrests
(Google Maps)

🚘 Stolen BMW SUV tracked to Newark, where crashes hurt officers and teen

The 2021 BMW X6 was reported stolen in Cedar Grove around 7:30 a.m. on June 22, according to state Attorney General Matthew Platkin.

It was tracked to Newark, where members of the State Police Auto Theft Task Force saw the SUV in the area of North 6th Street.

Task Force members monitored the BMW as it drove around the city and eventually entered a parking garage on Mount Prospect Avenue, between Delavan Avenue and Ballantine Parkway.

Detectives then confronted those inside the BMW on the upper level of the garage, stepping out of their police vehicles.

Griffin has been accused of ignoring commands to leave the vehicle, instead speeding toward an officer and stopping. Officers then tried to remove him from the SUV, by opening the rear driver side door.

Police said that Griffin then put the BMW in reverse and sped backwards, after which the SUV stalled.

They said he then drove forward and hit two officers while exiting the garage, before driving through several side streets in Newark.

The BMW got into a head-on collision with a federal government-owned vehicle that was driven by an on-duty Homeland Security Investigations Supervisory Special Agent, according to Platkin.

Muhammad Lopez (Essex County jail)
Muhammad Lopez (Essex County jail)

The stolen SUV then hit a fence on Meeker Avenue at the intersection with Empire Street, adjacent to Weequahic Park — and all four males inside ran away.

The federal agent was taken by ambulance to University Hospital in Newark for evaluation and testing.

He was later released and was doing well.

The juvenile, whose name is not being released, was struck by an unmarked police vehicle while running.

He suffered a broken leg and was also treated at the hospital.

Zanier Riley (Essex County jail)
Zanier Riley (Essex County jail)

Griffin, Lopez and Riley were all apprehended after chases and field searches, police said.

Griffin faced the following charges:

🔹 Second-degree aggravated assault while eluding police (three counts)
🔹 Second-degree aggravated assault (two counts)
🔹 Assault on a law enforcement officer (two counts)
🔹 Third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose
🔹 Fourth-degree possession of a weapon
🔹 Third-degree theft
🔹 Third-degree eluding
🔹 Second-degree conspiracy with a juvenile to commit a criminal offense
🔹 Fourth-degree resisting arrest

Lopez and Riley were both charged with the following:

🔹 Third-degree theft
🔹 Second-degree conspiracy with a juvenile to commit a criminal offense
🔹 Third-degree receiving stolen property
🔹 Fourth-degree resisting arrest

Charges against the juvenile were not immediately disclosed to the public on Friday.

“These defendants allegedly engaged in high-risk, criminal conduct, bringing this eluding incident to an end that left several individuals, including law enforcement officers, injured,” Platkin said in a written statement.

He continued “We are committed to bringing to justice those who engage in auto thefts and who thereby carelessly endanger our communities and our officers.”

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