On Wednesday, in Rahway New Jersey, a criminal background check resulted in the arrest of a man wanted in a cold hit and run case. Jeffrey Adams left the scene of an accident two years ago that sent four people to the hospital, and one of them, an elderly woman from Jersey City, to her grave. Police say he was speeding on Grand Street in Jersey City at 2:45 AM when he struck the car in the oncoming lane. Since that would have been early on a Sunday morning, it is easy to imagine that Adams was sloshed from a long Saturday evening.
Adams paid a visit to the same hospital shortly after the accident, from which police obtained his name and address. Unfortunately for them, it was not a valid address (which quite likely resulted in the hospital getting stiffed as well). The case eventually went cold as police were unable to track Adams down.
New Jersey state law requires a criminal background check for a gun permit, which is processed through the state police. When Adams attempted to buy a rifle at New Jersey Firearms Guild, a gun shop, the police were alerted when his background check turned up the outstanding warrant.
The shop owner, Art Burtiss, didn’t notice anything unusual about this particular customer. Adams made his down payment, and when his background check took longer than normal, left the shop since it was near closing time. Burtiss said, “We didn’t notice anything unusual about him. It was taking a long time, so he left.” When Adams’s gun permit was rejected, he came back in for a refund on his payment. Burtiss stated, “We never know why someone’s background gets rejected, and the police did not tell us what was going on.”
When Adams arrived home on Tuesday, Essex County Sheriff’s department officers were waiting to apprehend him. Hudson county prosecutor Edward DeFazio wasn’t certain whether Adams was even aware of the charges against him.