A Holmdel patrol officer, sitting in his patrol car with its lights flashing at a DWI checkpoint on Route 35 South in Holmdel, was injured when another car struck the passenger side of his car at 11:42 p.m. Friday night.
Police say that the Holmdel officer, whom they have not named at the officer's request pending notification of family, was transported to Bayshore Community Hospital with neck and back injuries. He was evaluated and later released and is home resting, according to Holmdel Police Sgt. Michael Hughes.
The officer's vehicle was traveling slowly and stopping behind Holmdel officers who were in front of it, setting up cones in the roadway in front of the CEI building, and was positioned at an angle for their protection.
The motorist, Jack H. Wegman III, an 18-year old residing at 715 Cambridge Ave. in Union Beach, was arrested and charged with multiple disorderly person offenses, including driving while intoxicated, being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle.
Wegman was also charged with provisional license violation (hours of operation), reckless driving, improper use of a cell phone, failure to maintain lane, failure to pull over for an emergency vehicle and careless driving.
His passenger, Anthony Cocuzza, a 19-year old residing at 650 Washington Ave. in Union Beach, was also arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance.
Ptl. Matthew Menosky and Sgt. Michael Pigott were the arresting officers.
Wegman's Opal Mercury Cougar was impounded in the Oct. 7 incident. The police vehicle sustained significant damage, was towed from the scene and has been placed out of service, according to Hughes.
Members of the Holmdel First Aid squad responded to the accident.
Wegman and Cocuzza were released pending a court appearance in Holmdel Township.
The Holmdel officers had been assisting members of the Monmouth County DWI Task Force in setting up advanced warning signs and traffic cones along Highway 35 southbound for the check point. The department typically pulls cars into the Dearborn Markets parking lot for sobriety checks.
After the accident, an investigation continued until 4:30 a.m. The sobriety checks were continued by officers conducting a roving DWI patrol in their cars, said Hughes.