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Man drives stolen car right into Bergen DUI checkpoint

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST : A man drove a stolen Cadillac right up to a DUI checkpoint set up only minutes earlier in Elmwood Park, then was caught by officers — including Police Chief Donald Ingrasselino — when he realized where he was and tried to run off.

The Elmwood Park Police Department also made 10 DWI arrests at the checkpoint, beginning at midnight and running into the early morning hours, Ingrasselino told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

That puts Ingrasselino’s department on track to break its record for DWI arrests for a second straight year. Elmwood Park is among the leaders not just in Bergen County but throughout the state.

This weekend’s series of stops had barely begun at the intersection of Route 46 and Boulevard when the 2011 CTS, stolen from the Quick Check on Midland Avenue in Saddle Brook approached.

Ingrasselino himself was handling the stops, along with Lt. Frank Thorpe.

“Once [the driver] realized he was in the checkpoint, he abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot,” Ingrasselino told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

The chief and Thorpe sprinted only a short distance before grabbing him at Garvey Place, the chief told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Piotr Witkowski, 22, of Van Winkle Avenue in Garfield, is charged with receiving stolen property. Ingrasselino said he was turned over to Saddle Brook authorities for additional charges. He has a Municipal Court date in Elmwood Park tomorrow.

Although relatively small, Elmwood Park has several major roadways crossing through it. Ingrasselino, looking to be pro-active, frequently has officers in roving watching vehicles, with others setting up several checkpoints. The method has been proven to improve public safety: SEE: DWI arrests put Elmwood Park police near top of all NJ departments

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