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Paterson Man Charged with Striking Clifton Police Officer with Vehicle


Clifton Police said on Tuesday, at approximately 7 a.m.,  officers were conducting a motor vehicle stop on a motorcycle on NJ-21 North, just before the Rt 46 interchange.

Officials said, while doing so, a white BMW approached the area at a high rate of speed while traveling on the shoulder - surpassing the traffic stemming from the bottleneck. 

According to Clifton Police, Officer Balkjy approached the oncoming vehicle on foot and brought it to a stop.

Officer Balkjy then began walking toward the driver's side of the vehicle, at which time the driver of the BMW accelerated and swerved toward the officer, striking him in the arm and leg with the car. 

Clifton Police said he then sped off.

Another unit attempted to stop the vehicle. However, the driver refused to pull over, instead opting to initiate a motor vehicle pursuit onto the Rt 46 and then onto Rt 20 North.

During the pursuit, the BMW crashed into the center divider before finally coming to rest on the shoulder of the roadway. 

According to Clifton Police, Officer Matt West took both vehicle occupants into custody at gunpoint, although further investigation revealed that the passenger would not be criminally charged in the incident. 

However, the driver, Mr. Luis Villalba, 21, of Paterson, was transported to headquarters and charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Eluding, Assault by Auto, along with a multitude of motor vehicle summonses - including consumption of an alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle. 

“Fortunately, Officer Balkjy was able to avoid serious injury and is being treated for contusions to his arm and leg,” Clifton Police said. (No hospital transport).