Man Deliberately Drives Into Home and Crashes Into Police Station in New Jersey, Police Say

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
September 30, 2023US News
Man Deliberately Drives Into Home and Crashes Into Police Station in New Jersey, Police Say
Police detain John Hargreaves, 34, after he drove his SUV through the police headquarters in Independence Township, N.J., on Sept. 20, 2023. (Warren County Prosecutor's Office via AP)

INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP, N.J.—A New Jersey man deliberately drove his SUV into a home and the offices of a municipal police department last week, authorities announced Friday.

No one was injured in the crashes, both of which took place on Sept. 20, the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release. However, at least one officer narrowly escaped being struck when John Hargreaves, 34, of Belvidere, drove into the Independence Township police headquarters, causing significant damage.

Mr. Hargreaves’s vehicle came to rest in the department’s squad room. As he got out of the vehicle, prosecutors said Mr. Hargreaves put his hands in the air and appeared to be celebrating while loudly playing the Guns N’ Roses song “Welcome to the Jungle” on his car stereo as officers took him into custody.

That crash happened just minutes after Mr. Hargreaves had driven into the garage door of a home in Liberty Township, an act prosecutors said was intended to harass the homeowner, who is known to Mr. Hargreaves. He then drove to the Independence police station because it was closest to the home, prosecutors said.

Mr. Hargreaves was charged with burglary, criminal mischief, and a weapons count in both crashes. He also faces counts of terrorism, aggravated assault, and causing widespread injury or damage stemming from the police station crash.

Authorities have not disclosed a possible motive for the crashes. They said Mr. Hargreaves remained jailed Friday.

County prosecutors said they did not know if Mr. Hargreaves had retained an attorney. The Associated Press left a voicemail seeking comment with an attorney who had represented him in a previous case. A telephone number for Mr. Hargreaves could not be located.

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