Sayreville man pleads guilty in Edison carjacking

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A man from Sayreville has pleaded guilty to carjacking, possession of a weapon, eluding, and aggravated assault in connection with an incident that occurred in Edison on Jan. 10, 2017.

John Spina, 46, of Sayreville, pleaded guilty on May 13 under a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Dimitri Teresh. Spina will be sentenced to 25 years in a New Jersey state prison. This term is subject to the No Early Release Act. As such, the defendant will have to serve 85 percent of his prison term before becoming eligible for parole, according to information provided by Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.

Spina was charged following an investigation by Detective Leslie Yackel of the Edison Police Department, Detective Brian Braile of the Sayreville Police Department, and Detective Erik Larsen of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

The investigation determined that at approximately 1:16 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2017, Spina approached a female motorist in the parking lot of the Wick Plaza shopping mall on Route 1 in Edison and showed her a badge and a gun. When the woman rolled down her car window, Spina began punching her, got into her car and continued punching her before she was able to flee, according to the statement.

The woman was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where she was treated and released.

Spina drove from the scene in the woman’s car, which later was located on Washington Road in Sayreville. As police pursued the defendant, he fled, sideswiped two on-coming vehicles and then struck a third vehicle head-on, according to the statement.

The driver of the third vehicle was also taken to a hospital, where she was treated and released.

Spina then continued to drive from the scene and fled from the stolen car when it ran off the road and became lodged in shrubbery. Police followed the suspect and quickly apprehended him, according to the statement.

Spina is scheduled to be sentenced in New Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves on July 29.