RED BANK: FLEEING MAN PULLED FROM RIVER

AUTHORITIES_RB3A motorcyclist was forcibly pulled from the Swimming River in Red Bank after he sped off from a traffic stop in Little Silver Saturday night, authorities said.

According to Little Silver police Chief Dan Shaffery, a patrol attempted to pull over Armando Cruz, 27, of Red Bank, for a traffic violation on Branch Avenue at 10:36 p.m. when he took off.

Cruz barreled down Branch to Sycamore Avenue, and then to Route 35 north at high speed, Shaffery said.

After Cruz created a substantial distance between himself and the patrol unit, the pursuit was terminated, Shaffery said.

Cruz was last seen turning west onto Newman Springs Road, he said.

According to Red Bank Chief Darren McConnell, borough cops found the motorcycle, a greenĀ 1996 Kawasaki, parked in a driveway on Tilton Avenue, and put in a call for the borough’s K9, Hunter, to help find the suspect. But before the dog arrived, officers saw Cruz in the woods atop the steep embankment to the river at the end of Bank Street and chased after him, McConnell said.

Cruz went into the river, and ignored calls to return, so Patrolman Benjamin Springer went in and pulled him out of the chest-deep water, McConnell said.

Cruz “wouldn’t come out of the water,” McConnell said. “It’s actually kind of dangerous down there, pretty muddy, and I think the officer was a little concerned for the safety of the suspect.”

Cruz was charged with eluding arrest in Red Bank and handed over to Little Silver, where he was charged with speeding, failure to observe a traffic signal, eluding, reckless driving, having fictitious plates, unauthorized lamps, expired registration, no license and driving while suspended, Shaffery said. He was later released on a bond against a $10,000 bail.