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Iman complaint prompts internal probe of Union City police arrest

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

EXCLUSIVE REPORT: Union City internal affairs detectives are investigating a claim by Imam Mohammad Al-Hayek that a member of his North Hudson Islamic Educational Center was illegally searched and arrested after he rammed his car into another while allegedly under the influence of PCP, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

The actions of all of the officers involved in the broad-daylight arrest on bustling Bergenline Avenue a week ago yesterday are being scrutinized as a result of the imam’s complaint, a Hudson County law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the case told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

The officers reported finding 21 grams of methamphetamine, a bag of PCP-laced pot and a dozen Xanax after 32-year-old Wossom Abolaban ( INSET, above ) of Pavonia Avenue in Jersey City rammed his car into a police cruiser in an attempt to get away from the Nov. 24 crash and then become combative as officers tried to handcuff him, the website has learned.

A review of the case by CLIFFVIEW PILOT has found:

One of the officers said he was headed south on Bergenline Avenue near 48th Street just before 4:30 p.m. when he saw a blue Honda Accord pass an NJ Transit bus on the right.

The Accord then rear-ended a legally parked gold Camry that had a 41-year-old driver from West New York inside, the officer said. Whether the occupant was injured couldn’t be determined this afternoon.

The officer said he activated his radio car’s lights and quickly blocked in the Honda to protect the usual Saturday throng that packed the intersection.

Then he got out.

Abolaban was “staring intently ahead with both hands on the wheel gripping it extremely hard” while “ramming my patrol vehicle in an attempt to drive away,” the officer reported.

Although he pointed his service weapon through the open passenger-side window, the officer said, Abolaban ignored him.

Backups quickly arrived, pulled Abolaban from the sedan and tried to get him into handcuffs.

However, the officer said that Abolaban “was holding his hands into his chest in a defensive posture and refusing to submit to police authority.”

Abolaban was also shouting “Allah Akbar” over and again, drawing a large crowd, another officer told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Eventually, they got Abolaban’s hands behind his head and into handcuffs, as more onlookers gathered. Then they put him in the back of the officer’s radio car.

Witnesses spotted a small plastic ziplock bag fall to the ground as Abolaban was removed from the car. A leafy substance inside apparently was “saturated with a liquid substance [with] a distinct chemical smell,” the officer said.

Another officer reported finding a small digital scale — of the kind used for selling drugs — and a blue latex glove with a knotted end and containing a “white, powdery” substance on the back seat of the Accord.

The powder tested positive as meth, Union City police said.

On the way to headquarters, they said, Abolaban “kicked out the rear side window and frame” of the patrol car. Officers then put him in leg shackles, according to their report. His own car was towed from the scene.

A search of Abolaban turned up a dozen prescription medication Alprazolams (Xanax), records show. Meanwhile, a search of the criminal database showed outstanding warrants for him out of Cliffside Park, Jersey City and Union City.

City police said they kept Abolaban in the shackles “due to his violent behavior” while taking him him to Hoboken University Medical Center.

Their report indicates he tested positive for PCP.

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