A drunk driver who eluded police and sheriff’s officers in two towns before crashing his Jeep into one of the patrol cars, has been sentenced to two jail terms – one in state prison and one in the Ocean County Jail – over the Aug. 19, 2021 incident.
Antwan McPhatter, 27, of Staten Island, N.Y., was sentenced on Tuesday by Superior Court Judge Rochelle Gizinski to five years in New Jersey state prison as a result of his previously-entered guilty plea to eluding police. Additionally, Gizinski sentenced McPhatter to 30 days in the Ocean County Jail in connection with his guilty plea to the related motor vehicle offense of leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage.
McPhatter also had his driver’s license suspended for two concurrently-running six month terms.
According to prosecutors, the chaotic scene played out Aug. 19, 2021. At about 6:30 p.m., Seaside Heights police were called to a hit-and-run accident in the area of Blaine Avenue and the Boulevard. The report indicated that a 2015 Jeep Cherokee crashed into an unoccupied vehicle and fled the scene.
Seaside Heights officers attempted to execute a motor vehicle stop of a vehicle matching the description of the Jeep, which they spotted traveling in the wrong direction on Sheridan Avenue. As officers activated their lights and sirens, the vehicle sped away “at a high rate of speed,” police said, ultimately traveling northbound on Route 35.
Officers saw the Cherokee make a right turn onto Beach Drive in Ortley Beach, after which the the SUV came to a stop at the end of Beach Drive, but accelerated westbound towards Route 35. The Cherokee then failed to stop at a stop sign, entered Route 35, and collided with a marked Seaside Heights police vehicle.
As a result of the crash with the police car, the Cherokee struck a utility pole, which fell on top of it. The driver of the Cherokee, identified as McPhatter, attempted to flee the scene on foot at which time he was apprehended.
Two Seaside Heights police officers were ultimately transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River, where they were treated for minor injuries and released. McPhatter was likewise transported to Community Medical Center, where a blood draw was taken from him pursuant to a court-authorized warrant. He was later brought to the Ocean County Jail, where he has been lodged since the date of his arrest.
According to prosecutors, laboratory results of McPhatter’s blood draw – received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in the course of the investigation – revealed that McPhatter was “under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana at the time of the incident” and was therefore unfit to operate a motor vehicle, a statement said.