POLICE-INVOLVED SHOOTING IN JERSEY CITY INVESTIGATED
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:
On Sunday, June 4, 2017, shortly after 11:00 p.m., Jersey City Police Officers attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of Ocean and Cator avenues in Jersey City. The vehicle fled the area and was pursued by the officers.
As he fled, the driver was involved in at least two separate automobile crashes. The first crash occurred as the driver attempted to drive between two lanes of traffic while travelling on Tonnelle Avenue. Multiple shots were fired at the suspect by Jersey City Police Officers.
Several blocks later, the driver crashed into a utility pole causing a fire and injuring an innocent male victim who was also driving on Tonnelle Avenue. The victim was transported by Emergency Medical Services to The Burn Center at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. He is currently in critical condition, but stable, and is being treated for severe burns to his body.
The driver of the vehicle that eluded the police is Leo C. Pinkston, age 48, of Jersey City. He has been charged with one count of Eluding in violation of N.J.S. 2C:29-2(b), a second-degree crime; and one count of Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S. 2C:12-1(b)(6), a second-degree crime. Pinkston was transported by Emergency Medical Services to Jersey City Medical Center where he is being treated for his injuries.
Pursuant to Attorney General guidelines, the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor has taken over the investigation from the Jersey City Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Internal Affairs Unit is now in the early stages of the investigation.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the innocent victim and his family,” said Prosecutor Suarez. “We will utilize all resources available to the Prosecutor’s Office for a full and thorough investigation as we seek to bring this matter to a rightful conclusion.”
Anyone with information or video is asked to contact the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at 201-915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip on the Hudson County Prosecutor’s official website at: https://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/ . All information will be kept confidential.
The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6).