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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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DV Pilot police & fire

Clifton Police Chase Ends With Arrest Of Wrong-Way Route 21 Driver

Erick Gomez
Erick Gomez Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy CLIFTON PD

CLIFTON, N.J. -- Persistence paid off when a Passaic County sheriff's officer helped Clifton police collar a wrong-way speeding motorist who they said drove through oncoming traffic -- twice.

It began when Sgt. Bruce Lawson pulled over a vehicle riding along the shoulder of northbound Route 21 near Ackerman Avenue around 9 a.m. Aug. 2, Lt. Robert Bracken said.

As Lawson walked toward the car, the driver sped off, he said.

Lawson began chasing the vehicle in his cruiser when the driver -- identified as 29-year-old Erick Gomez of Paterson -- headed into oncoming northbound traffic, Bracken said.

Lawson cut off the chase, given the danger, then checked the area -- and found the car on a Paterson side street, the lieutenant said.

Gomez floored it once more, again driving through oncoming traffic, he said, so Lawson peeled off.

By then, Paterson police and Passaic County sheriff's officers had converged on the area.

Soon after, a sheriff's officer spotted Gomez "sitting on a porch near 20th Avenue," Bracken said.

Gomez was arrested and charged with eluding and possession of heroin. He also received several traffic summonses.

He was released pending further court action.

Bracken thanked the sheriff's department and Paterson police for their roles in tracking and catching Gomez.

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