|TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a Gloucester County man has been indicted by a state grand jury on charges of first-degree attempted murder and second- and third-degree aggravated assault for allegedly running over a New Jersey State Police trooper and ramming the vehicle of an off-duty New Jersey State Police captain following a traffic stop.
Daren J. Rebel, 20, of Westville, was charged yesterday (Sept. 25) with two counts of first-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree aggravated assault, one count of second-degree attempted aggravated assault, one count each of second- and third-degree resisting arrest and four counts of third-degree aggravated assault.
“New Jersey State Police put their lives on the line every day to protect all of us,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “We must, in turn, protect them by aggressively prosecuting anyone who seeks to harm them.”
“Anyone who tries to harm a police officer will face stern justice,” Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig said. “Each first-degree attempted murder charge here carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison upon conviction.”
An investigation by the Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team determined that on Aug. 10, 2012, multiple 911 calls were made regarding a red Toyota Camry driving recklessly on Route 55 North. A New Jersey State Police trooper spotted the vehicle and gave chase, eventually following the car off Exit 58 for the Deptford Mall. At the intersection, the trooper approached the car and attempted to remove Rebel, the driver. Rebel then allegedly accelerated and the trooper was almost pulled underneath the vehicle.
A New Jersey State Police captain, who was off-duty at the time, happened to also be stopped at the intersection and had begun to turn his Chevy Impala to assist the trooper. Rebel allegedly struck the captain’s vehicle in the intersection and the trooper allegedly was thrown off Rebel’s Camry prior to being run over by the rear tires. The captain then gave chase and followed Rebel’s car behind the BJ’s Wholesale Club on Deptford Center Rd. There, Rebel parked the Camry, and he and his three passengers exited the automobile.
When the captain drove up behind the car, Rebel allegedly returned to the Camry and proceeded in reverse and struck the captain’s vehicle again. As the captain exited his Impala, Rebel allegedly turned his car around. The captain drew his weapon but Rebel allegedly began to drive directly at the captain. The captain narrowly jumped out of the way and then fired three shots at Rebel. All three struck the car but missed Rebel. As Rebel allegedly fled the scene, the captain remained and secured the three passengers who had not re-entered the Camry. Rebel’s vehicle was subsequently located and the defendant was arrested.
Deputy Attorney General Andrew Taff and New Jersey State Police Detective Sgt. Glenn Garrels coordinated the investigation for the Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team along with members of the New Jersey State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice and the Deptford Township Police Department. Deputy Attorney General Taff presented the case to the state grand jury.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. First-degree charges of attempted murder carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $200,000. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000 while third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000.