NY shoplifter dies after jumping off bridge www.privateofficer.com
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.May 29 2011 — What looked like a miracle plunge off the Goethals Bridge Saturday night by a suspected shoplifter on the run from the law ended up fatal after all.
The suspect, Darin Hickman, 46, of Holland Avenue in Mariners Harbor, initially survived a drop off the bridge into marshland, but died of internal injuries hours later, according to New Jersey State police.
Hickman had a lengthy criminal record dating back to at least the 1980s, and his third stint in New York state prison — for a 2005 possession of stolen property and a forged instrument conviction — ended in February 2010, according to public records.
His criminal career came to a dramatic end at about 6:30 p.m. when, authorities said, police in Milburn, N.J. tried to stop him for questioning because they suspected he had shoplifted an item from the Short Hills Mall. Just a week prior, one law enforcement source close to the investigation said, he had stolen a pricey Louis Vutton handbag.
Hickman drove off, though, leading police in Milburn to call in a description of his Mitsubishi Diamante as a person of interest, the source said.
State police pursued him on the New Jersey Turnpike, according to N.J. State Police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Jones, but called off the pursuit while he was still on the turnpike, opting to follow him with lights and sirens off.
Hickman got to the Goethals, then rammed into a Port Authority police vehicle on the New Jersey side of the bridge, before the span crosses the waters of the Arthur Kill, Jones said. His car caught fire, authorities said, so he ran out, then jumped off the bridge, landing in a marsh.
“The initial reports that we had were that it looked like he was in fairly decent shape,” Jones said.
Except Hickman apparently suffered internal injuries, Jones said, and he died several hours later.
He was pronounced dead at 1:26 a.m. at University Hospital in Newark, authorities said.