|The Attorney General’s Office today released video footage as well as audio from a 9-1-1 call and from police radio transmissions related to a November 9th vehicle crash in Old Bridge during a police pursuit.
The driver of the car that was pursued by police has been identified as Samuel Villar, 20, of Somerset. The vehicle he was driving struck unrelated civilian vehicles, resulting in the death of Arturo Tlapa Luna, 33, of Freehold, who was pronounced deceased at the scene. Three other occupants in his vehicle were transported to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries.
The officer involved in the pursuit has been identified as Marlboro Police Sgt. Greg Arrone.
The crash occurred at 2:14 a.m. November 9, 2022, near the intersection of Spring Valley Road and Route 9 South in Old Bridge, after Sgt. Arrone attempted to stop a vehicle in connection with an investigation of an attempted car theft from a residence in Marlboro, Monmouth County.
The deadly crash is under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). The recordings are being released pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General’s Office in 2019 designed to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters.
The recordings are available here: https://njoag.box.com/s/rsdblhfawsx97pi0faw2s9buy2kwqkdl
The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.
This investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L. 2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct all investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. Separately, the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which was issued in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting these investigations. The Directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are conducted in a full, impartial and transparent manner. Under both state law and the Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed.
Further information about how fatal police encounters are investigated in New Jersey under the Independent Prosecutor Directive is posted on the Attorney General’s website at www.njoag.gov/independent-prosecutor
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