Little Falls Driver Arrested for DUI and Aggravated Assault on Police Officers

Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department announces the arrest of Michael Sparks (35) of Little Falls, N.J., for two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, driving while intoxicated and a variety of other criminal and motor vehicle offenses on November 23, 2019.

On that date, at approximately 9:19 P.M., the police department received several 9-1-1 calls reporting what appeared to be a motor vehicle accident on Two Bridges Road near Sand Road. Initial reports indicated that there was a male that was down in the roadway. Responding to the call were Sergeant Frank Tracey and Officers James High Jr., Rick Alves, and Vincent Purcell. Upon their arrival, it is alleged that Sparks was in the driver seat of a 2004 red Chevrolet with no other vehicles appearing to be involved in any accident. It was stopped in the left lane of travel with its rear taillights on but its headlights off. The keys were on the roof of the car.

It is alleged that in speaking with Sparks, he displayed signs and symptoms consistent with someone being under the influence to include the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath, slurred speech, bloodshot and watery eyes and vomit on his pants.

A supplemental investigation revealed that several witnesses observed Sparks lying on the roadway next to the open driver’s door, with his leg under the vehicle with the car’s reverse lights on. None of the witnesses saw Sparks’ vehicle strike any other car. It was one of the witnesses that removed the keys from the car and placed him on the roof of the car.

It is alleged that Sparks complained of neck pain and that one of the officers observed black marks on his left shoe consistent with witness statements that Sparks may have run over his foot or leg. The West Essex First Aid Squad arrived to treat Mr. Sparks. At this point, Mr. Sparks allegedly became belligerent and uncooperative towards the officers and attempted to get out of his car and started to stumble in the roadway. The officers immediately grabbed him as Sparks was unstable on his feet. He was then guided to the stretcher, at which time it is alleged that Sparks became combative. It is alleged that he then grabbed Sergeant Tracey around his head and then by his ear, causing a laceration. He then grabbed Officer High by his forearm and began twisting it causing a contusion.

Sparks was placed under arrest and restrained. He was then transported to a local hospital for treatment with police on board the ambulance. It is alleged that Sparks then began to make terroristic threats toward one of the police officers and a member of the first aid squad.

After being treated and released, he was transported to police headquarters for processing. In addition to the aggravated assault and driving while intoxicated charges, he was also charged with two counts of making terroristic threats, resisting arrest, obstruction and several motor vehicle violations. He is scheduled to appear in the Superior Court in Newark, N.J. on January 16, 2020.

(It should be noted that the charges against Sparks 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

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