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3 Union City police officers investigating fatal pedestrian strike hit by motorcycle

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Anthony Johnson has the latest on the hit-and-run incident in Union City.

Four Union City police officers investigating a deadly pedestrian strike were hit by a motorcyclist and injured Wednesday night.

The most seriously injured officer remains in the hospital but is expected to survive. Two other officers were treated and released, while the fourth was treated at the scene.

They were identified as Captain Joseph Botti, Lieutenant Michael Bergbauer and Officer Nick Alverez. It is unclear who remains hospitalized.

It happened as the officers were investigating an accident involving a 16-year-old boy who was hit by a garbage truck near Palisade Avenue and 30th Street around 7:30 p.m.

The teen, Sean Lemus, was pronounced dead at the hospital. Lemus' friends gathered Thursday near the scene where he was struck while riding his bike, in shock over his untimely death.


"My heart goes out to the family of Sean Lemus, who died in this tragic accident," Union City Mayor Brian Stack said. "I'd also like to ask everyone to keep the injured officers in their thoughts and prayers as these officers recover from their injuries."

About two hours after the initial crash, police say two motorcyclists were driving together through the crime scene when they went around a roadblock and struck the officers.

One of them then struck the garbage truck involved in the initial accident, while the second motorcyclist fled the scene.

The motorcyclist who struck the garbage truck -- identified as 25-year-old Ricardo Suazo, of Paterson, was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The second, 24-year-old Aryon Acosta-Reinoso, was taken into custody at his home Thursday.

It was determined that Suazo was the one who struck the officers. He is charged with four counts of assault by auto. Acosta-Reinoso is charged with aggravated assault, eluding arrest and theft.

Related Topics:
hit and runmotorcycle accidentUnion CityHudson County
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