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Cops: Toms River Hit-and-Run Suspect Located in Brick

Officers track suspect using footprints in the snow to shopping center in Brick.

A Seaside Heights man who is accused in a hit-and-run accident in Toms River was ultimately located in a Brick Township shopping plaza early Wednesday morning after phoning in what is being called a fake carjacking report.

Toms River Police Ptl. Stephen Eubanks observed a motor vehicle crash just after midnight Wednesday while on patrol at the intersection of Hooper Avenue and Fischer Boulevard, according to Chief Mitch Little.

Upon speaking to the owner of one of the cars involved, Eubanks learned that the other driver had taken off toward Ocean County College, Little said. Eubanks tracked the suspected hit-and-run vehicle by using the car's imprints in the fresh snowfall and subsequently located the vehicle near the Ocean County College access road by the soccer and baseball fields.

The vehicle had driven through a fence, then down a trail into the woods and after locking the car the driver fled on foot, said Little.

Eubanks, along with Ptl. Michael Cassady and Sgt. Robert Rankin entered the woods on foot while other officers set up a perimeter, according to Little.

Meanwhile, the suspect, John Arsi, 28, of Sherman Avenue in Seaside Heights, called 911 and told the dispatcher that he was carjacked at gunpoint and his vehicle was stolen.

After an hour of tracking Arsi's footprints in the snow, officers located him several miles away in the rear of the Yorktown Plaza shopping center in Brick, Little said.

Upon his apprehension his car keys were located in his pockets and he had scratches on himself from running through the woods, indicating to the officers that he was, in fact, the driver who had crashed and fled the scene and that there was no carjacking, according to Little.

He was placed under arrest by Ptl. P.J. Gambardella and charged with multiple offenses including obstructing the administration of law, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
Mark Story Jenks January 29, 2014 at 11:33 PM
He thought he was slick. But he wasn't. Only the roads were.
Tomas Gonzalez January 29, 2014 at 11:58 PM
I hope this puts the guy on the track!

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