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Mahwah detective dragged by fleeing driver, arrest made in Nutley

Photo Credit: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An Old Tappan man dragged a Mahwah police detective 60 feet with his car before cutting his lights and speeding off last night, then was arrested in Nutley after leaving his girlfriend’s house, authorities said.

Detective Kevin Herbert approached the 2007 Jeep Wrangler in the parking lot of the State Line Diner and asked the driver, 45-year-old Kenneth Tortora, to step out, Police Chief James Batelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT early this afternoon.

Tortora instead put the vehicle into gear and began to drive off, he said.

Detective Lt. Guido Bussinelli and Detective Eric Larsen tried to get into the passenger side but it as locked.

Hebert, meanwhile, reached in from the driver’s side, grabbed Tortora and ordered him to stop.

Tortora “continued to drive out of the parking lot with [Hebert] holding onto to him,” then ran over a curb avoiding another vehicle on Island Road, the chief said.

Hebert was dragged before letting go, slightly injuring his left forearm, he said.

Police issued a bulletin after he sped off. Nutley police spotted him frist and took him into custody.

Tortora had a first appearance in Municipal Court this afternoon and was being taken to the Bergen County Jail on $350,000 bail.

He is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, eluding, hindering and criminal mischief.

MUGSHOT: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

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