ELIZABETH, New Jersey (WABC) -- A man in Elizabeth, New Jersey, has been arrested and charged with attempted murder after officials say he ran down a woman, severely injuring her.
It happened Monday morning on Salem Avenue and Aberdeen Road, where witnesses say the victim and the suspect, 56-year-old Vincent Jean, who was driving a silver Mitsubishi, were involved in a minor car accident in the area.
After the accident, officials say Jean attempted to flee the scene and the 23-year-old victim, who was standing on the sidewalk, began taking photos of the suspect's car in order to be able to identify him to police.
Jean then drove his car directly at the victim, police said, and she began to run onto the lawn to avoid being struck.
Officials say the suspect then drove onto the lawn and struck the 23-year-old, before backing up and deliberately running over her a second time.
He then fled the area in his SUV.
The victim suffered numerous injuries and was taken to University Hospital in critical condition.
Elizabeth Patrol Officers eventually located Jean sitting alone in the driver's seat of his parked, damaged SUV on Jefferson Avenue.
He was arrested and charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, third-degree assault by auto, third-degree leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident with serious bodily injury, third-degree endangering an injured victim and third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
The victim's family released the following statement Thursday.
"The family would like to express its gratitude for the expedient response to this incident by the Union County Prosecutor's Office, the Elizabeth Police Department, EMS workers as well as Elizabeth Mayor, Chris Bollwage. We also want to thank the citizens of Elizabeth for their aid and support, especially the school bus driver who intervened and the neighbor who provided the security camera footage of this horrific crime. Your actions and cooperation with law enforcement led to the quick apprehension of the perpetrator. These collective efforts along with the hard-working and diligent actions of the doctors and healthcare professionals at University Hospital, saved our daughter's life. What this man did to our daughter was atrocious and no parent, child or any human being should ever have to endure this. We want to be clear that this was not the result of any domestic dispute. This man was a complete stranger who committed a heinous act of road rage and attempted to kill our daughter simply because she was trying to get necessary information to lawfully report an accident while he was fleeing the scene. Although we are heartbroken and deeply saddened by what happened, we are thankful that our daughter is alive. We are now focused on her care and recovery and will rely on the law enforcement professionals and the court system to dispense justice. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support but we ask that you respect our family's privacy during this time."
Anyone with further information about this incident is being urged to contact Elizabeth Police Detective Thomas Koczur at 908-358-9675 or Detective Edward Benenati at 908-328-6972.