Garfield Driver Charged with Assault by Auto

Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department announces the arrest of Juan Sanchez (48) of Garfield N.J. for assault by auto, driving under the influence, refusal to submit to a breath test and a variety of other motor vehicle summonses on November 23, 2021. The circumstances that led to the arrest and charges is as follows:


On November 22, 2021, at approximately 6:20 PM, the Fairfield Police Department received several 9-1-1 calls reporting an erratic driver operating a dark colored SUV on Route 46 West near Plymouth Street. Callers reported that the vehicle was all over the road and had gone onto the grass median. Officers were immediately dispatched to the area.


Within moments of them being dispatched, the department then began receiving multiple

9-1-1 calls reporting a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Route 46 West and Plymouth Street. When officers arrived, they discovered that the crash involved three vehicles, a 2008 Toyota Four Runner, allegedly operated by Sanchez, a 2018 Mazda, operated by a 33-year-old male from Caldwell, NJ and a 2016 Honda CRV being operated by a 62-year-old male from West Orange. The Honda had rolled over and was on its roof. The driver of the Honda received injuries to his shoulder and was transported to Mountainside Hospital by the West Essex First Aid Squad. The Fairfield Fire Department stood by until the scene could be cleared.


The initial investigation revealed that Sanchez was allegedly travelling west on Route 46 and disregarded a red traffic signal. His vehicle then struck the Honda, which in turn, struck the Mazda. Both the Honda and the Mazda were coming from Plymouth Street, crossing over Route 46 and proceeding onto Clinton Road when the crash occurred.


As the investigation continued, it appeared to the officers that Sanchez and his vehicle were the subject of the initial 9-1-1 calls regarding the erratic driver. It is alleged that Sanchez displayed signs and symptoms consistent with someone who was under the influence to include the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, and being unable to stand without assistance. Officers attempted to conduct field sobriety testing, however, had to stop the testing as Sanchez allegedly could not safely participate.


Based upon the totality of the circumstances, Sanchez was placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters for breath testing and his vehicle impounded pursuant to New Jersey law. While at headquarters, it is alleged that Sanchez outwardly refused to submit samples of his breath for chemical testing. He was charged and released on his own recognizance pending an appearance in the Essex County Superior Court on December 29, 2021. The case was investigated by Officer Patrick Reynolds.


(It should be noted that the charges against Sanchez are merely allegations and that he is presumed innocent until he either pleads guilty or is found guilty in a court of law)



Authorized by: Chief Anthony Manna