NJ man tried to kill Manville cop before intense police chase, cops say
🚔 A Somerville man is charged with the attempted murder of a police lieutenant
🚔 He led officers on an intense police chase and crashed into a home, officials said
🚔 Police said they found a gun, a MAC-11 9mm, in the stolen vehicle
MANVILLE — A repeat offender has been indicted on numerous charges for nearly killing a police lieutenant and leading other officers on a dangerous police chase through town, authorities said.
Brian Niziolek, 37, of Somerville was indicted on 11 counts by a grand jury last week on Sept. 13 for the violent police encounter in June, Somerset County Prosecutor John McDonald said Thursday.
Niziolek is charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree and third-degree aggravated assault, second-degree eluding, second-degree burglary, third-degree resisting arrest, third-degree vehicle theft, and weapons offenses.
Violent Manville police chase begins
What became a wild chase through Manville borough started with a report of a stolen vehicle around 2:19 p.m. on Thursday, June 29.
A few officers responded to the last known location of the vehicle on Pope Street and found Niziolek behind the wheel, Chief of County Detectives Frank Roman Jr. said to New Jersey 101.5. The officers told Niziolek to get out of the vehicle.
Instead, the convict put the vehicle in drive and accelerated directly at a Manville police lieutenant, prosecutors said.
Niziolek struck the lieutenant with the front of the stolen vehicle and sent him flying into another vehicle, officials said. He then drove off north toward Camplain Road, Roman said.
The police lieutenant recovered enough from the hit to get back in his police vehicle along with another officer. They began pursuing Niziolek and chased the stolen vehicle through the normally quiet borough.
Niziolek hit several vehicles during the pursuit, according to officials.
He then crashed into a home on North 5th Avenue and ran, prosecutors said. According to McDonald, he was eventually found in the basement crawl space of a home on Brooks Boulevard where he was arrested by officers including the police lieutenant who had been struck.
Convict found with automatic machine pistol, officials say
Police found a knife when they searched the crawl space where Niziolek had been found, according to prosecutors.
They then found a MAC-11 in the vehicle Niziolek had stolen, officials said. The 9mm automatic machine pistol had a loaded extended magazine holding 30 rounds, according to prosecutors.
Niziolek has several prior convictions including sexual assault, aggravated assault, drug offenses, unlawful possession of a handgun, and obstruction, state records show. He was most recently released from prison in November 2022.
His criminal record makes it illegal for him to possess a firearm.
The weapons offenses against Niziolek include second-degree unlawful assault weapon possession, second-degree unlawful handgun possession, second-degree persons not to possess weapons, fourth-degree high capacity magazine possession, and fourth-degree knife possession.