Heights official lauded for report of reckless driving [VIDEO]

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SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS —Borough Administrator John Barrett captured the erratic, high speed ride of a vehicle on Interstate 195 on his dashcam recently, phoning in a report to 911 and guiding state police toward an arrest.

Mr. Barrett said he was driving east on I-195 on June 29, when he spotted a vehicle weave in and out of lanes, hit mile markers, drive onto the median and eventually crash into the side of another vehicle.

“My heart was in my mouth,” Mr. Barrett said Monday, adding that as he called 911, he “prayed that no one would be injured.” The driver was arrested and charged with possession of heroin and a hypodermic needle by New Jersey State Police and identified as Joseph Scott, 29, of Howell, Sgt. Lawrence Peele of the State Police confirmed on Wednesday.

“I had no intention of trying to play fake cop,” Mr. Barrett said Monday. “My job was to keep my hazards on, get behind this person at a safe distance … to document what I saw for the police.”

He said he had purchased his dashcam a few years ago for about $25.

In the video, he can be heard on the phone with a state police dispatcher, providing details as the other vehicle spun 180 degrees onto the grass median before taking off again. At that point Mr. Barrett noticed the driver had “a thousand yard stare,” he said on Monday.

Moments later, the driver crashed into the side of another vehicle, forcing it onto the median before driving away. 

Seconds later, the driver is pulled over by New Jersey State Police officers. “You got him,” Mr. Barrett says to the dispatcher.

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.