Passaic County officials announce that based upon an investigation by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Paterson Police Department, Lawan A. Henry, 23 years old of Paterson, was arrested on November 15, in relation to an investigation that began in the early morning hours on that same day.
According to officials, Mr. Henry was charged with Death by Auto While Driving Intoxicated Within 1,000 Feet of School Property, Knowingly Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Death, Causing Death While Driving Unlicensed, Assault By Auto While Driving Intoxicated Within 1,000 Feet of School Property, Knowingly Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Serious Bodily Injury and Causing Serious Bodily Injury While Driving Unlicensed.
According to police, at approximately 3:54 a.m. on Sunday, November 15, police responded to Broadway between East 30th and East 29th Streets in Paterson in response to a motor vehicle collision. When they arrived, they learned that a silver 2008 Cadillac CTS, being operated by Mr. Henry, crashed into several unoccupied vehicles that were parked along Broadway.
Police reported that the Cadillac CTS was occupied by three other individuals in addition to Mr. Henry at the time of the crash. One of the occupants, Xavier Ortiz, 18 years old of Paterson, suffered fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced deceased at the scene at 4:33 a.m.
According to officials, the other two occupants suffered serious bodily injury, and are currently receiving treatment at Saint Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson. It is alleged that Mr. Henry left the scene following the crash, and was driving without a license.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office asks anyone with additional information about this incident to contact them on their tips line at 1-877-370-PCPO or firstname.lastname@example.org or to contact the Paterson Police Department at (973) 321-1111.