Authorities arrest hit-and-run driver who critically injured man in Brick

    A Bayville man who police say was the driver in the hit-and-run collision that critically injured a 68-year-old man in Brick Monday evening is in custody, authorities announced Saturday.

    Steven P. Ananko, 44, of Serpentine Drive in Bayville was arrest near his residence by officers from the Brick Township Police Department and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, police said in a release. 

    Ananko was charged with knowingly leaving a motor vehicle accident with serious bodily injury, tampering with physical evidence, and hindering apprehension, police said.

    Bail was set at $50,000, with no option to post ten percent, according to police. Ananko subsequently posted bail at Brick Police headquarters and was released pending court proceedings.

    Police, who issued pleas to the public for assistance in identifying the vehicle, say that they developed leads by using video surveillance from near the collision scene and examining EZ-Pass toll records, leading to the identification of several possible suspect vehicles.

    Further investigation and interviews pointed to Ananko’s vehicle, leading police to the man’s residence. But the vehicle was not at Ananko’s residence. Police then observed another vehicle owned by Ananko in the area while at his house.  

    Police then stopped the vehicle, in which Ananko was a passanger, and asked the man to accompany officers to the Brick Township Police Department headquarters.

    At headquarters, police determined that Ananko was the driver involved in the crash and was attempting to have the vehicle repaired at a body shop in northern New Jersey. The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigation Unit went to the body shop and seized the vehicle as evidence.

    The victim, identified as James Joseph Cox, was in critical condition at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune as of Thursday, police said. 

    The investigation was conducted by Ptl. Jay Lampiasi, Ptl. Scott Dierking, and Sgt. Henry Drew of the Brick Township Police Department, and Detectives David Margentino, and Michael Proto of the Ocean County Prosecutors Office Vehicular Homicide Unit.

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