Bergen County Police Officer Seriously Injured Following DWI-Related Accident
A man from Lodi is facing charges including aggravated assault, DWI, assault by auto, and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, after a recent car accident left a Bergen County Police Officer with significant injuries.
According to Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, 36-year-old Michael Ettz, a math teacher and coach in Lodi, was driving while intoxicated on Route 46 at approximately 1:50 a.m. on Saturday, April 19th when he crashed his 2012 Ford Fusion into a marked police SUV. Per reports, 39-year-old Bergen County Police Officer Daniel Breslin was in the vehicle at the time and sustained a fractured skull, bleeding, and multiple broken ribs as a result of the accident. He remains in critical condition following surgery.
After the crash, Officer Frank Canaje removed Ettz from his car, at which time Ettz allegedly attempted to flee the scene on foot. He was ultimately taken into custody by Lodi Police Sergeant Michael LaRosa and charged with aggravated assault, DWI, assault by auto, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, hindering apprehension or prosecution, obstruction, and reckless driving.
Ettz was released after posting bail in the amount of $150,000. He has been charged with extremely serious offenses, particularly those for aggravated assault, assault by auto, and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury.
Aggravated assault offenses are governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 and can be classified as second, third, or fourth degree crimes depending on the degree of harm resulting in the specific case. If the victim is “seriously” injured, the defendant could be facing second degree charges, which are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. In addition, aggravated assault offenses are among those enumerated under the No Early Release Act. As a result, those convicted of these crimes must serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.
In New Jersey, charges for assault by auto (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1) and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1) are also considered egregious offenses. Penalties resulting from a conviction can entail 3 to 5 years in prison for each offense. Further, the New Jersey Criminal Code stipulates that these sentences must be served consecutively if the defendant is found guilty of both charges.
As you can see, Michael Ettz’s legal situation is extremely serious. He would be best served by a knowledgeable defense attorney who is familiar with the nuances involved in DWI-related cases and can provide him with the best possible defense.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Lodi High School teacher released on $150G bail after crash critically injures Bergen PD officer