†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† *News Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: March 30, 2013

 

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Essex County man charged in police chase, assault

 

 

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan, Chief Richard Ivone of the Piscataway Police Department and Chief Jeff Nelson of the Dunellen Police Department announced that an East Orange man was arrested and charged today with a series of criminal offenses following a police pursuit that ended when he crashed a stolen vehicle into an automobile dealership on Route 22 in Watchung.

 

LíKapree Bethea (DOB 3/24/90) was charged with kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, theft, theft of a motor vehicle, criminal mischief and driving while intoxicated.

 

He is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick waiting for bail to be set.

 

An investigation by Detective Daniel Nee of the Piscataway Police Department began when police were alerted to a dispute outside the New Market firehouse on Washington Avenue in Piscataway shortly before 1:30 a.m. today.

 

When police arrived at the scene, they were told that Bethea assaulted a woman, whose identity is being withheld at this time.

 

The woman who was assaulted was sitting in the rear of a car owned by one of her friends while police were interviewing a witness.

 

At some point, Bethea jumped into the car, a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu, and drove away. Police followed, but ended the pursuit in Dunellen.

 

Dunellen police subsequently followed the vehicle through the borough and onto Route 22 east

 

Bethea was driving through Watchung in Somerset County when he lost control of the Chevrolet, which crashed into a number of vehicles parked outside the automobile dealership.

 

Bethea and the woman were taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where they were treated for injuries. The woman remained in the hospital for observation.

 

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Nee of the Piscataway Police Department at (732) 562-1100.

 

As is the case with all criminal defendants, Bethea is presumed innocent until proven guilty.