Uniformed Hoboken Parking Utility Agent Rear-Ends Cab, Mows Down Stop Sign, Arrested for DWI
Following an incident at the corner of 5th & Bloomfield Streets at 6:19 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, a Johanna Melendez, 38, of Jersey City, was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, DWI within a school zone, and Reckless Driving. According to witnesses, Melendez—who works for the Hoboken Parking Utility (HPU)—was in her HPU uniform at the time of the arrest.
From the Hoboken Police Department:
Officers were dispatched to 5th and Bloomfield Street on the report of a motor vehicle accident. Upon arrival they were informed that vehicle 1 (taxi) was struck from behind while stopped at the intersection for a posted stop sign. The driver of the striking vehicle also struck a stop sign while pulling over after the accident. When the officer was collecting the necessary documents from both drivers, he noticed the driver of the striking vehicle identified as Johanna Melendez had glassy, bloodshot eyes. Melendez then provided the officer with paperwork he did not request and it took her several minutes to locate her key fob in order to turn off her vehicle. Additionally, her account of what transpired was inconsistent. Based on circumstances, the officer request Sergeant Edward Sellick to respond to the scene. Sgt. Sellick responded and performed Field Sobriety test which Melendez failed. Sgt. Sellick determined that Melendez was not able to safely operate a motor vehicle and she was placed under arrest. Later, Melendez provided a breath sample which did not produce a reading. Based on Sgt. Sellick’s test results and observations he attempted to perform an additional Drug Recognition Evaluation which he is trained to perform. Melendez refused this test. After the arrest process was complete Melendez was released to a responsible adult. No one suffered any injuries as a result of this accident and only the taxi and stop sign were damaged.
Eye witnesses to the incident confirmed with hMAG that Melendez was in her HPU uniform when the accident occured. hMAG has reached out to the City of Hoboken to clarify whether or not she was on duty at the time.
We will update this story with any further information.