Prosecutor: Woman assaulted police after high speed chase out of Island Beach State Park

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A 30-year-old woman is facing a slew of motor vehicle and criminal charges after a high speed chase Saturday in coastal Ocean County.

Prosecutors say a New Jersey State Park police officer attempted to stop Jessica Hayes of Bensalem, Pennsylvania as she was traveling in excess of 70 mph in a 35 mph zone in Island Beach State Park.

As Hayes was attempting to leave the state park, she ignored commands to pull over, and exited the park at high rate of speed, according to authorities.

Prosecutors say the pursuit was terminated when Hayes was reaching speeds of 60 mph and weaving in and out of traffic on Central Avenue in Seaside Park.

Officers from the Seaside Park Police Department were then requested to the Wells Fargo Bank in the municipality due to a suspicious woman in the bank, according to prosecutors. Responding officers determined that Hayes displayed signs of intoxication and performed field sobriety tests.

Authorities said the New Jersey State Park Police officer that attempted to stop Hayes then arrived at the bank.

When attempting to place her under arrest, Hayes resisted and assaulted two Seaside Park police officers and one New Jersey State Park police sergeant, according to prosecutors. Police said she was eventually arrested without further incident.

She was charged with driving under the influence, eluding, three counts of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, obstructing the administration of law, and additional motor vehicle violations, according to authorities.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said Hayes is under evaluation at a local hospital and will be transported to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River after being medically cleared.

“Quite frankly, we are lucky no one else was injured by her reckless behavior on a very busy Saturday at the Jersey Shore,” he said. “All of the officers involved did a great job and it looks like they will all be OK.”

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