On July 19, 2021, at approximately 10:15 pm, Gloucester Township Police responded to the area of Erial Road and Garwood Road, in the Erial section of the Township for a reported road rage incident where a handgun was brandished. The victim was able to provide the Gloucester Township Police Communications Center with a vehicle description and license plate number. Responding officers located the vehicle traveling on Erial Road near College Drive. Due to the report of a handgun being brandished, Officers conducted a high risk traffic stop on the vehicle.
The male driver and female passenger were detained during the investigation. A black Beretta style airsoft gun with the orange safety tip removed was located in the vehicle. Detectives from the departments Criminal Investigations Bureau conducted interviews and determined that the incident began with a road rage dispute. The victim reported the suspect vehicle was traveling slowly on the road and then came to an abrupt stop. She advised that she began to swerve around the right side of the vehicle while shouting at the occupants as she began to pass them. At that time, the passenger of the vehicle opened their car door and pointed a black handgun directly at her. The victim fled the area and contacted police to report the incident. The suspects advised they were attempting to locate an address while driving for a food delivery service, and became confused as to their location, which prompted them to stop when they did.
The driver, Kinoshkie Mercado-Dejesus and passenger, Nilvanys Llanos, were charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, a 3rd degree crime; Possession for Unlawful Purpose, a 2nd degree crime and Possession of a Defaced Firearm, a 4th degree crime. Miss Llanos was additionally charged with Aggravated Assault, a 4th degree crime. Both subjects were remanded to the Camden County Correctional Facility in accordance with New Jersey Bail Reform.
The following statistics compiled from the NHTSA and the Auto Vantage auto club show that aggressive driving and road rage are causing serious problems on our roads.
• 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.
• 37% of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm.
• Males under the age of 19 are the most likely to exhibit road rage.
• Half of drivers who are on the receiving end of an aggressive behavior, such as horn honking, a rude gesture, or tailgating admit to responding with aggressive behavior themselves.
• Over a seven year period, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were attributed to road rage.
One scary statistic worth noting is:
• 2% of drivers admit to trying to run an aggressor off the road!
Chief Harkins reminds motorist, “Road rage has the potential to affect all drivers on the road and can lead to death or injury. It’s not worth engaging with those who drive aggressively. Always try to keep your cool, and practice courteous driving habits. If you are threatened, call 9-1-1 right away.”