If it’s about noon on a Monday and you just led police on a drunken chase down the boardwalk in Atlantic City — and a passenger in your vehicle opted to jump out of the moving car rather than risk his life (and freedom) by staying in the vehicle with you — paying a toll when you’re trying to get on the highway a few minutes later should be the last thing on your mind.
Not for 28-year-old John Thompson, of Staten Island, who was nabbed by police yesterday after fleeing from officers while driving drunk (in the afternoon) on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. He was finally apprehended when he stopped to pay a toll on the Atlantic City Expressway.
Authorities say officers spotted Thompson about 12:30 p.m. yesterday
when his car drove onto the boardwalk near Florida Avenue. An officer on
foot signaled for him to stop his car, but Thompson gunned it instead.
As Thompson weaved in and out of pedestrians enjoying the boardwalk —
nearly hitting several, including a police officer on a bike — the
officer who first spotted him called for backup as people had to dive
out of the way of his speeding car.
At that point, a passenger in the car, 33-year-old John Sulmonee, jumped
from the vehicle rather than face the consequences with Thompson — whom
he’d only met hours earlier and had agreed to give him a lift back to
New York (Sulmonee suffered a head and foot injury).
Thompson was finally caught at a toll plaza on the Atlantic City Expressway — as he tried to pay the toll.
In all, Thompson was booked on one count each of risking widespread
injury, driving while intoxicated, and aggravated assault. Additionally,
he faces two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer.
We sent Thompson a message on Facebook asking if he’d like to explain
why the hell he would choose to take a toll road — and then actually
stop to pay the toll — as police were hot on his trail. We’ll let you
know if we hear back.