New Jersey police shoot man during wild pursuit involving crash on Route 22, foot chase through Union County neighborhood, officials say

MOUNTAINSIDE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police fired shots at a man during a wild pursuit that ended with a crash -- and then a foot chase -- in New Jersey.

Investigators said the chain of events began around 2:15 p.m. on Route 22 when Union Township police attempted to pull over 32-year-old Lester Krek, of Linden, for a traffic violation.

During the stop, Krek attempted to drive away, prompting a police chase, officials said. Officials have not confirmed why Krek fled.

Minutes later, Krek apparently crashed on Route 22 in Mountainside, knocking over traffic signs and causing major traffic delays for several hours.

Krek then tried to flee by foot, hiding in a residential neighborhood. Residents said they were confused and panicked after the suspect cut through several backyards.

He was soon cornered two blocks away from the crash on Larkspur Drive, and a confrontation ensued with police. Sources said police shot him after he tried to wrestle a gun away from officers.

Both Krek and the officer who discharged his weapon were transported to University Hospital in Newark for non-life-threatening injuries.

Krek was charged with second-degree disarming a police officer, second-degree eluding police, and third-degree resisting arrest.

The Union County Prosecutor's Office said it is investigating the circumstances behind this police use of force.

Anyone with information about this incident is being urged to contact Sgt. Janet Lopez at 908-347-8491 or Detective Katelyn Prata at 908-447-6195.

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