Prosecutor’s Office releases video from officer-involved shooting

In accordance with New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Directive 2018-1, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office today is releasing the entirety of the police body-worn camera and dashboard camera footage associated with an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Mountainside on Friday, June 7, 2019.

Portions of the audio and video associated have been redacted in accordance with state and federal law in order to omit protected personal healthcare information and personal identifying information, as well as discussions regarding law enforcement strategy.

The defendant in this matter, Lester Krek, 32, remains in custody, having been charged with second-degree disarming a police officer, second-degree eluding police, and third-degree resisting arrest. The press release posted at the time of his arrest appears below.

Several portions of this video appearing immediately before and after the officer-involved shooting are punctuated by loud bursts of static caused by rapid movement occurring near the body-worn camera’s microphone. The investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office’s Shooting Response Team (SRT) has definitively determined that a single round was discharged from the officer’s service weapon.

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.