MIDDLETOWN: SUSPECT TRIED TO KILL COP


The suspect was apprehended when he crashed his car on Courtney Way after a chase of about three miles, Middletown police said.

By JOHN T. WARD

A Middletown man was charged with trying to kill a township police officer Sunday after an tussle in which the officer was dragged by the suspect’s car, police said.

Corporal Daniel Murdoch remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries five hours after the 11:12 a.m. incident, which also involved a motor vehicle chase of about three miles that ended with the suspect crashing his car several blocks away, said department spokesman Lieutenant Steven Dollinger.

According to Dollinger, Murdoch was attempting to arrest Gregory Canova, 37, at his Stephenville Boulevard home on warrants from Sea Girt and Wall Township , where he was wanted on charges of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

On his second or third visit to the home, Murdoch found the suspect and was attempting to take him into custody when a struggle ensued, Dollinger said.

Canova “was able to break away” and get into his car, Dollinger said. Murdoch, he said, “was half-in and half-out of the car, fighting with the suspect when Canova struck Murdoch with the vehicle and dragged him a short distance.

During the arrest attempt, Murdoch was calling for backup, and witnesses to the struggle also called police for help, Dollinger said.

One of the responding officers, Sergeant Charles Terefenko, saw Canova fleeing the scene and gave pursuit, during which the suspect rammed rammed Terefenko’s patrol car, Dollinger said.

Canova was apprehended when he crashed his car on a residential lawn on Courtney Way, a nearby cul-de-sac, Dollinger said.

The start and end locations are about three miles apart, but Dollinger said he did not immediately have information on the path followed during the chase.

Judge Leslie Justus of the Monmouth County Superior Court ordered Canova held on $882,500 bail, with no ten-percent option. He was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, two counts of  aggravated assault on police officers, eluding police, resisting arrest, two counts of criminal mischief, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, Dollinger said.

He was also charged with aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and violation of a court order by Sea Girt police and two counts of aggravated assault, terroristic threats, simple assault and endangering the welfare of a child by Wall Township police, he said

Murdoch and Sergeant Terefenko were being treated at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank for injuries sustained during the arrest, Dollinger said.