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North Arlington police chief takes down fleeing suspect

Photo Credit: Courtesy NORTH ARLINGTON PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: North Arlington Police Chief Louis Ghione got into the act this morning, first blocking and then tackling a man wanted on an outstanding warrant who’d just given Kearny police the slip.

Kearny police went looking for 22-year-old Michael Castillo, who lives in North Arlington, after he fled a motor vehicle stop, North Arlington Capt. John P. Hearn told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . He also had a warrant out of Mount Olive Township, Hearn said.

Just after 11:15 a.m., North Arlington Police Officer Michael Hofmann spotted Castillo walking on Morgan Place near the Belleville Turnpike and ordered him to stop.

Castillo took off, running through backyards, Hearn said.

Figuring the suspect was headed home, Sgt Joseph Prinzo went to Castillo’s backyard. Castillo spotted him, then turned and ran back toward Kearny.

Ghione had been out with his officers earlier and was driving back to headquarters with Hearn when they heard the radio call.

“I told the captain, ‘We’re gonna catch this guy’,” Ghione said. Then he hit the gas.

“I passed the officers as they were running,” the chief told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

“Someone on the street pointed toward Van Cortland [Place} and I headed in that direction,” he said. “Then I saw him.

“I drove right past him, smiled, then pulled the car in front of him real quick,” said Ghione, 55, who played recreational baseball up until early last year. “He bounced off the front of the car, stumbled and I grabbed him and brought him to the ground.”

After charging Castillo with resisting arrest, North Arlington police turned him over to their colleagues in Kearny.

Ghione, meanwhile, fielded calls from law enforcement family members and friends jokingly telling him to leave the physical work to the younger guys.

“Look at it this way,” he told one of them. “I didn’t have to run.”

MUGSHOT: Courtesy NORTH ARLINGTON PD

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