Authorities: Driver who tried to drag officer turns himself in

Posted: Updated:
SOUTH BRUNSWICK -

A man who allegedly grabbed a police officer's tie and tried to drag him along while fleeing a traffic stop has turned himself in.

South Brunswick police say 46-year-old township resident Alan Fratello Jr. surrendered Wednesday at police headquarters, a day after the traffic stop occurred in the Middlesex County community.

Authorities say Fratello was stopped for erratic driving on Route 32 east. They say he pulled Detective Eric Tighelaar's necktie when the officer approached the car and then began driving away.

The detective had to briefly run alongside the vehicle before he freed himself. Tighelaar wasn't injured.

RELATED: Police search for 2 accused of attacking South Brunswick officer

South Brunswick police say that Fratello surrendered after the department received multiple tips from people who saw his picture on News 12 New Jersey.

Police also say that South Brunswick police have twice saved Fratello’s life when he overdosed in December and April.

“This driver had overdosed and officers revived him,” says Deputy Chief Jim Ryan. “So South Brunswick officers revived the same person who’s putting another officer in jeopardy. “

Fratello is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and eluding.

Police are still looking for Jaqueline Smith, the owner of the vehicle Fratello was driving. Smith was a passenger in the car during the traffic stop, according to police.

Anyone who may have more information on Smith’s whereabouts should contact South Brunswick police at 732-329-4646.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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