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Car rams police cruiser, occupants scuffle with officers

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Bergenfield Officer Thomas Miller was in for both a shock and a surprise when his cruiser was rammed from behind after he tried to help a stalled motorist on South Washington Avenue, and he and a colleague ended up scuffling with two drunks they arrested on assorted charges.

CLIFFVIEW PILOT photos

The driver, identified as 22-year-old Diego A. Giraldo of Englewood, plowed his Lexus into the back of the police car overnight Sunday after Miller pulled up to a Toyota Celica that apparently stalled in front of Matthews Diner.

Miller, who sustained minor injuries, walked back to the Lexus when a passenger — identified as John Bermudez-Gallego, 26 – began swinging, Bergenfield police said.

Backups from Teaneck, New Milford and Dumont were there quickly. As the officers tried to subdue him, they said, Bermudez-Gallego kicked Bergenfield Lt. Mark Richards in the mouth — in full view of people watching from the diner windows.

Once they had him inside another radar car, Bermudez-Gallego deliberately banged his head in the back seat, the officers said in their reports.

Miller had to be treated briefly for injuries at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck before he was released soon after. Richards had a cut lip but said he was fine.

Giraldo smelled of alcohol and failed a field sobriety test, said Officer Michael Legregni, who was leaving the diner when the crash occurred and dashed over to helf.

Giraldo was released on a summons to appear Wednesday in Municipal Court. He’s charged with DWI, reckless driving and vehicular assault.

Bermudez-Gallego was still being held on $22,500 bail in the Bergen County Jail this morning, charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer.



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