A Union Beach man faces aggravated assault and assault by auto charges stemming from an accident last October that injured a Holmdel police officer.
Jack H. Wegman, 18, was arrested on Wednesday after surrendering himself to the Holmdel Police Department, according to a press release issued by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
On Oct. 7, 2011 at approximately 11:42 p.m., officers from the Holmdel Police Department, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and the Brielle Police Department were in the process of preparing a DWI checkpoint on Route 35 just north of Centerville Road. Holmdel Patrolman Michael Michalski observed a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed toward the checkpoint and not slowing down in response to the warning lights and police vehicles at the scene, according to the press release. Michalski yelled at other officers to get out of the roadway but was unable to exit or move his vehicle before it was struck by the other car.
Police identified Wegman as the driver of the vehicle and Anthony C. Cocuzza, 19, also of Union Beach, as a passenger. Prosecutors said the police seized marijuana found in the vehicle.
Michalski was transported to Bayshore Community Hospital, where he was treated for injuries sustained in the accident.
At the time of the initial investigation, Wegman and Cocuzza were charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance. Wegman was also charged with multiple motor vehicle offenses, including driving while intoxicated.
A follow-up investigation into the circumstances of the collision by the and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office found that Wegman failed to observe and react to the strong police presence at the checkpoint because he was under the influence of marijuana, according to the release. Holmdel police charged Wegman with the assault charges, as a result.
Wegman faces a maximum five-year prison sentence on each of the two assault charges.