An Essex County man has admitted to injuring two Union Township police officers during an attempted getaway in a stolen vehicle, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.
Antoine Trent, 28, of Newark is expected to face 16 years in state prison when he is sentenced later this year, and under the provisions of New Jersey’s No Early Release Act, he must serve at least 85 percent of his term before becoming eligible for parole. Trent entered guilty pleas to two counts of second-degree aggravated assault during the course of eluding police and two counts of third-degree motor vehicle theft late Monday before state Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim.
The date was April 22, 2011 when Trent and an acquaintance traveled from Newark to Jersey City, where they stole a vehicle, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Barnes, who prosecuted the case. The pair then traveled to Union Township, where they stole an Audi A4 sedan out of the parking lot of a store on Route 22, Barnes said.
The two were parked on Manor Drive in Union when two officers on patrol noticed damage to the vehicle’s door and became suspicious; they subsequently ran the Audi’s license plate and discovered that it had been stolen.
The officers approached the vehicle, and while one attempted to remove the passenger, Trent, the driver, suddenly pulled out a screwdriver and used it to start the ignition. Trent then threw the Audi into reverse with the officer still partially in the vehicle, sideswiping several parked cars and ultimately slamming into another vehicle.
Trent also clipped the other officer during the incident, causing him to suffer a sprained knee, while the officer who was stuck in the vehicle suffered multiple fractures to his back vertebrae. All three men were taken to a local hospital for treatment.