Somerville Man Indicted for Attempted Murder for Striking a Manville Police Lt. with a Stolen Car
By Barbara A. Preston | Posted September 21, 2023
A Somerset County Grand Jury returned an 11-count indictment charging Brian Niziolek, 37, of Fairview Avenue in Somerville with 1st degree attempted murder for driving a stolen car into a Manville police lieutenant. He is also charged with possessing a MAC 11 9mm assault weapon and a loaded 30-round extended magazine, according to a press release issued today.
The incident occurred during a police pursuit on June 29, 2023. Police said that at 2:19 pm, the Manville Police Department received a motor vehicle theft complaint. During the investigation, police responded to the last known location of the vehicle and located the vehicle being driven by Niziolek.
As Manville police officers approached the defendant and ordered him to stop, the defendant put the vehicle in drive and accelerated towards a Manville police lieutenant, striking him with the front of the stolen vehicle, and propelling him into another vehicle, police said.
After being struck, the police lieutenant and another Manville police officer entered their police vehicle and pursued Niziolek as he fled through town. Niziolek struck several vehicles before he crashed into a home on North 5th Avenue and fled on foot.
Officers from the Hillsborough Police Department, Bridgewater Police Department, and the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit joined in the pursuit. Ultimately, the police lieutenant and the other officers found defendant hiding in the basement of a Brooks Boulevard home and took him into custody. Police located a knife in the basement crawl space where defendant had been hiding. A search of the vehicle stolen by defendant revealed a MAC 11 9mm assault weapon and a loaded 30-round extended magazine.
The M11/9 is a 9mm semiautomatic pistol was introduced in the 1980s by S.W. Daniel Inc. and branded as Cobray. The weapon is modeled off — and therefore often confused with — the infamous MAC-10 submachine gun, which gained notoriety in movies and television.
Niziolek is also charged with unlawful possession of an assault weapon, 4th degree possession of a high capacity ammunition magazine, 4th degree unlawful possession of a knife, 2nd and 3rd degree aggravated assault, 2nd degree eluding, 2nd degree burglary, 2nd degree unlawful possession of an assault weapon, 2nd degree unlawful possession of a handgun, 3rd degree resisting arrest, and 3rd degree motor vehicle left, according to a press release dated September 21 issued by Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives Francisco Roman Jr., and Manville Borough Officer-in-Charge Lieutenant Craig Jeremiah.
All charges stem from the June 29, 2023 police pursuit.
The Grand Jury also returned an indictment charging defendant with 2nd degree certain persons not to possess weapons based on defendant’s possession of the MAC11 assault weapon.
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Prosecutor McDonald, Chief Roman, and Lieutenant Jeremiah request anyone with information relating to this investigation to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office at (908) 231-7100, or the Manville Police Department at (908) 725-1900, or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports, and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.
NOTE: The charges are merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.