A local man has been charged with first-degree murder after the livery driver he allegedly assaulted in the parking lot of an Elizabeth coffee shop in June died last week, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Wednesday.
Emannuel John, 32, of Elizabeth also is charged with second-degree aggravated assault, second-degree endangering the welfare of a child – a toddler was in the back seat of his vehicle while the alleged assault took place – and third-degree leaving the scene of an accident.
At approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 15, Elizabeth Police Department patrol units responded to the Dunkin’ Donuts on U.S. Routes 1&9 near Woodruff Lane to find 45-year-old Masood Imran of the Avenel section of Woodbridge suffering from multiple injuries, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez, who is prosecuting the case. Imran was transported to University Hospital in Newark for treatment but never regained consciousness, Suarez said; he was pronounced dead at approximately 7:15 p.m. last Thursday, August 3.
An investigation by the Elizabeth Police Department revealed that an argument between the defendant and victim quickly escalated to violence, with John allegedly striking the victim multiple times through his open car window and then also slamming his vehicle’s door into him several times. After being assaulted, Imran positioned himself behind John’s car to take a photo with his cell phone camera, but at that time, John allegedly quickly put the car into reverse, striking the victim and throwing him to the ground before speeding away from the scene.
John was arrested several days later and lodged in Union County Jail, initially charged with attempted murder. The charge was upgraded to murder yesterday, and John was scheduled to make a first appearance on the new charge today.
Anyone with information about this matter still is being urged to contact Union County Homicide Task Force Sgt. Jose Vendas at 908-358-3048 or Detective Danika Ramos at 908-451-7739.
Convictions on murder charges are commonly punishable by terms of 30 years to life in state prison. These charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.