Friday Night, Towns Join Fairfield Police in Search for Possible Armed Male Suspect
Friday, August 30, 2013 • 11:49pm
Updated at 11:53 a.m. Saturday
FAIRFIELD, NJ - Police in Fairfield, Friday night, sought an individual, James Miranda, 27, of Milford, PA, starting at about 11:25p.m., who had been stopped for a motor vehicle violation, but ran out of the car into the surrounding woods. The incident took place on Route 80 West Bound, and police focused on the area around Big Piece Road. Police believed the suspect to be a white male who was most likely armed and hiding in the woods. As of 7:10 a.m. Saturday, the police announced the suspect had been apprehended and was in custody.
According to Deputy Police Chief Anthony Manna, at about 11:15 p.m., Officer Gerald Veneziano observed a 2000 Toyota Camry, with a Pennsylvania license plate traveling West on Route 80 in Fairfield. Veneziano alleges that the brake lights on the car weren't working, and the car was also having difficulty staying in one lane. The officer pulled over the car and Officer R.J. Casendino arrived as a back up shortly after.
The law officers determined that car was being driven by Miranda and the front seat passenger was Theodore Doherty, 57, of Lords Valley, PA. Veneziano allegedly observed a hypodermic syringe in the glove box and ordered both men out of the car. While patting down Miranda, Veneziano alledgedly found a folding knife inside a pocket. While he continued by checking Miranda's waistband area, the officer reportedly felt something which he felt to be a handgun.
Apparently at this moment, Miranda pushed away from the car, jumped the guardrail and fled into the wooded area, followed by Veneziano. At this same time, Casendino took Doherty into custody without incident where he was charged with possession of a hypodermic syringe.
Thomas Doherty Credit: Fairfield Police
Veneziano followed Miranda until he lost sight of him in the dark, thick underbrush. Area police, including units from Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Lincoln Park, Montville, North Caldwell, Parsippany, Verona, Wayne and West Caldwell assisted the Fairfield Police Department in the search.
Canine units from the Essex and Morris County Sheriff’s Department made their way into the woods to track the suspect by 12:30 a.m. and NJ State Troopers were also on the scene. Additionally, a helicopter was seen flying overhead.
West Essex TAP put out the description of the suspect at that time which was:
- jeans and a white t-shirt
Another resident commented, "I hear a helicopter and I'm on Cole Road which is the next street over from Big Piece."
When officers approached that area, Miranda was seen and he reportedly began to run. At 7:10 a.m., he was subdued by police and arrested and no weapon was found on him at the time.
Miranda was charged with resisting arrest, hindering apprehension, possession of a hypodermic syringe along with driving with a suspended license. Both he and Doherty remain at Fairfield police headquarters.