On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Monmouth County, Docket Nos. FJ-13-3090-09 and FJ-13-3091-09.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted November 10, 2010
Before Judges Fuentes, Gilroy and Ashrafi.
Sixteen-year-old D.D. was adjudicated delinquent by the Family Part based on charges that, if committed by an adult, would have constituted second degree eluding, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(b); fourth degree joyriding, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-10(b), as a lesser-included offense of third degree theft of a motor vehicle, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3; and the disorderly persons offense of resisting arrest, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(a)(1).*fn1 By way of disposition, the court committed D.D. to the custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission for a period of one year, ordered him to participate in the Juvenile Intensive Supervision Program (JISP) for a period of one year, and placed him on probation for a period of two years. The court also imposed mandatory fines and penalties. We affirm.
We gather the following facts from the evidence presented at trial.
While on bicycle patrol at approximately 6:15 p.m. on June 21, 2008, Keansburg police officers Tiffanie Dill and Michael Deaney observed a gray Mitsubishi Galant drive through a stop sign without stopping at the corner of Oak Street and Raritan Avenue. Dill estimated the vehicle was traveling about thirty-five miles per hour in a twenty-five mile per hour zone. The driver lost control while attempting to negotiate the turn onto Raritan Avenue, and as a result, drove up approximately twelve feet onto the sidewalk.
The Mitsubishi then accelerated in reverse and crashed into a concrete wall, causing extensive damage to the rear of the vehicle. Approximately twenty to thirty people were standing on the street at the time. The vehicle came within fifteen to twenty feet of striking the group. Dill described the driver of the vehicle as a sixteen-year-old juvenile, whom she knew from previous unrelated interactions.
D.D. exited the vehicle from the driver's side, while another individual, later identified as R.G., came out from the passenger side. R.G. immediately ran away up Oak Street. Dill ordered D.D. "to stay where he was . . . not to go anywhere," before both she and Deaney set off in pursuit of R.G. Dill testified she was "face-to-face" with D.D. when she told him not to go anywhere.
Dill and Deaney chased R.G. for about two blocks before apprehending him. Officer Scott Rongo arrived at the scene of the arrest almost immediately thereafter. Dill then used Rongo's vehicle to return to the original scene of the incident. Rongo activated the lights on the patrol car during the drive back, but did not activate the siren.
As Dill and Rongo approached, D.D., who had been standing next to the Mitsubishi, got back into the car and drove away up Oak Street at a "high rate of speed." Dill and Rongo pursued D.D. in their patrol car with the sirens wailing and overhead lights flashing. Due to traffic conditions, the officers soon lost sight of the vehicle.
Upon returning to police headquarters, Dill received an anonymous message from a "concerned citizen," informing her that D.D. and the Mitsubishi were at a specific address in Keansburg. When Dill and Deaney arrived at this location, they saw the damaged Mitsubishi parked in the driveway. The officers encountered S.H., the owner of the vehicle, who claimed she was unsure whether the juvenile was present. S.H. gave the officers permission to enter the residence to search for the juvenile. Although S.H.'s connection to the ...