Police chase suspects face suspected murder charge

29 07 2007

PATERSON — Police intend to charge two suspects who led police on an interstate chase with attempted murder, authorities said Saturday.

Mark Harkins, 25, and James Jones, 28, both of Chester, N.Y., were arrested at 8:34 Friday night at Rockland Lake State Park in Clarkstown, N.Y., said Bill Maer, spokesman for the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department.On Friday the two led police on an hour-long pursuit, which started in Paterson about 7:30 p.m. when a detective with the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department saw someone in a Ford F-150 driven by Harkins conduct a drug transaction at 30th Street and 21st Avenue, Maer said. The men allegedly pulled a woman into the truck, choked her and dragged her before throwing her onto the street, Maer said.

Officers followed the truck, which had New York plates, onto Route 80, where someone in the vehicle tossed drugs and a weapon out the window, Maer said. The truck crossed the George Washington Bridge and headed north on the Henry Hudson Parkway before crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge into Rockland County, Maer said.

Both men will be charged with attempted murder for dragging and choking the woman.

“Law enforcement cannot walk away from someone who is trying to cause the death of another,” said Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale.

Six Passaic County Sheriff cruisers kept on the chase to the end, but nobody was injured, Maer said.

Police said Harkins was shot in the left arm at the park and was taken to Nyack Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Jones was also taken to Nyack Hospital with “symptoms consistent with some form of a drug overdose,” Maer said.

The two apparently were in Paterson to conduct a drug transaction, Speziale said.

Police from Paterson, Passaic County, Bergen County, and New York State joined in the chase, he said.

Staff writer William Lamb contributed to this report.

Reach Alexander MacInnes at 973-569-7166 or macinnes@northjersey.com.




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