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Ex-Con Clifton Chase Ends With Route 80 Crash, Arrest In Elmwood Park

Jerry Shanks
Jerry Shanks Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy CLIFTON PD

CLIFTON, N.J. -- A chase that began in Clifton with an ex-con ramming a police car with his vehicle ended with another crash and a quick arrest in Elmwood Park just off Route 80, authorities said Thursday.

A passerby reported seeing Jerry Shanks, 42, using a crowbar to try to break into a Washington Avenue residence around 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, Detective Lt. Robert Bracken said.

Spotting the witness, Shanks pointed a gun while fleeing, Bracken said.

Moments later, Officer Samuel Rodriguez tried stopping the car on Barkley Avenue, but Shanks kept going onto eastbound Route 46, he said.

A detective's unit joined in but was rammed by Shanks's vehicle and disabled, Bracken said.

The pursuit continued eastbound on Route 46, then northbound onto Route 20, and, ultimately, onto eastbound Route 80, he said.

Near Exit 61, Shanks lost control of the car, which crashed into the center divider, Bracken said.

He bailed and ran across the wesbound lanes of Route 80, with Rodriguez on his tail.

Shanks ducked into a wooded area near Marcal Paper Products, refusing to stop, but Rodriguez caught him with help from Elmwood Park police, Bracken said.

A Passaic County Sheriff's K-9 Unit was summoned to find the gun -- and, sure enough, Detective Sebastian Biondo and his partner, Kimba, found in on the side of eastbound Route 46 near Main Avenue, the lieutenant said.

Other evidence was discovered in that general vicinity, he added.

Shanks was being held without bail in the Passaic County Jail, charged with armed robbery, armed burglary, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, eluding and possession of burglary tools, among other offenses.

He was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, as well as in connection with a Johnson Avenue break-in that occurred earlier this week.

Bracken thanked Elmwood Park police and Passaic County sheriff's officers for their help.

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