Linden man in custody following officer-involved shooting

A Linden man is in custody and facing multiple criminal charges after a vehicular and foot pursuit ended in an officer-involved shooting Friday afternoon, acting Union County Prosecutor Jennifer Davenport announced Saturday.

Lester Krek, 32, is charged with second-degree disarming a police officer, second-degree eluding police, and third-degree resisting arrest.

At approximately 2:15 p.m. Friday, a motorist later identified as Krek was pulled over by members of the Union Police Department on U.S. Route 22 West for a traffic violation, according to the preliminary investigation.

During the course of the stop, Krek left the scene, prompting a brief vehicular pursuit. Minutes later, his vehicle was found damaged several miles west down the highway in Mountainside.

When a Union Police Department sergeant located Krek on the 1600 block of Larkspur Drive in Mountainside, a short distance away, a brief physical altercation resulted in the sergeant discharging his service weapon, striking Krek. Both the defendant and sergeant were then transported to University Hospital in Newark for medical treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening.  

The Prosecutor’s Office’s Shooting Response Team is continuing to investigate the circumstances behind this police use of force, in accordance with the applicable New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Directive 2006-05 (amended 2015).

The criminal charges against Krek will be heard in Superior Court. Anyone with information about this incident is being urged to contact Sgt. Janet Lopez at 908-347-8491 or Detective Katelyn Prata at 908-447-6195.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.