ARREST IN LAKEWOOD FATAL HIT AND RUN
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Lakewood Township Police Chief Gregory Meyer announced today that Alexander Politan, 31, of Toms River was arrested and charged with Causing the Death of Another While Driving with a Suspended New Jersey Driver’s License in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-22a and Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1.
On Friday, October 4, 2019, at approximately 9:20 p.m., Lakewood Police were summoned to Oak Street, south of Albert Avenue in Lakewood Township for a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. Investigation at the scene revealed that Jesus Lopez-Grande, 15, Lakewood, and his father, Jesus Lopez-Ramirez, 37, Lakewood, were walking near the shoulder portion of Oak Street when they were struck by a vehicle. Jesus Lopez-Ramirez sustained an injury to his elbow. Jesus Lopez-Grande was found lying face down in the driveway of a home on Oak Street. Jesus Lopez-Grande suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Further investigation revealed vehicle debris was left at the scene. Detectives determined from the vehicle debris that vehicle parts located at the crash scene belonged to a black 2014 Jeep Cherokee. At that time the Lakewood Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Support Team and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office launched an extensive search to locate the vehicle. On Sunday, October 6, 2019, a black Jeep Cherokee matching the description of the suspect vehicle was located in the driveway of a residence on New Hampshire Avenue in Toms River. The residence was unoccupied. The black Jeep Cherokee had damage to the passenger side. A search warrant was obtained for the Jeep Cherokee.
Further investigation revealed that Politan was operating the vehicle when it struck Jesus Lopez-Grande and Jesus Lopez-Grande. Politan was physically located and arrested today. Politan was processed at Lakewood Township Police Headquarters and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.
“Although Mr. Politan is in custody, this remains an ongoing investigation,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “If anyone has any information concerning this investigation, I ask that you please call the Lakewood Police Department at 732-363-0200 or Detective Michael Proto of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027,” Prosecutor Billhimer added.
Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Meyer would like to thank the concerted efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Accident Support Team, Lakewood Township Police Department, Toms River Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit in this investigation.
The press and public are reminded that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.