MOUNT LAUREL, NJ (WTXF) - A Burlington County man was indicted Thursday on charges for allegedly striking and injuring two state troopers with a car while trying to escape a drug arrest at a hotel in Mount Laurel in 2014, Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced.
Juan Gutierrez-Valencia, 29, from Pemberton Township has been indicted on charges of fourth-degree aggravated assault, third-degree resisting arrest, fourth-degree resisting arrest by flight, and fourth-degree obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function.
The incident occurred on July 7, 2014.
New Jersey State Police detectives were conducting a drug transaction with Gutierrez-Valencia, an undercover detective having arranged to purchase two kilograms of crystal meth from him and another suspect.
The transaction took place in the rear parking lot of a hotel on Fellowship Road in Mount Laurel.
After the undercover detective entered the Mercedes sedan Gutierrez-Valencia and the other suspect arrived in and confirmed the presence of drugs, he exited and signaled the TEAMS Unit to make the arrests.
Gutierrez-Valencia was in the driver’s seat of the vehicle at the time of signal while the other suspect was in the passenger’s seat of the undercover detective’s car.
The TEAMS Unit was operating two vehicles that day, a large, unmarked white van, and an unmarked SUV. They pulled up behind the Mercedes and the undercover detective’s vehicles and troopers exited the vehicles dressed in the standard uniform of the TEAMS Unit to make the arrests/
As the first troopers exited the back of the van, Gutierrez-Valencia reversed the Mercedes, making the tires squeal, and cut the wheel hard to the left.
The Mercedes clipped the van, shutting the rear door as troopers were exiting. It also ran into the first two TEAMS troopers who got out of the van, causing minor injuries.
A third TEAMS trooper got out of the van and fired shots through the windshield of the Mercedes at Gutierrez-Valencia, one of the shots grazing his right arm.
The Mercedes then stopped behind the van and other troopers forcibly removed Gutierrez-Valencia from the vehicle and attempted to place him under arrest as he resisted. The other suspect was arrested without further incident.