Christian Capacchione, 30, of National Park faces motor vehicle and criminal charges after an alleged spree that included property damage, terroristic threats, child endangerment, and assault on police officers between Haddonfield and Audubon last night.
By Matt Skoufalos | November 17, 2023
A National Park man is alleged to have terrorized shoppers in downtown Haddonfield and families in residential Audubon before police took him into custody Thursday evening.
Thirty-year-old Christian Capacchione of National Park faces a slew of criminal charges in multiple jurisdictions, including burglary, terroristic threats, aggravated assault on a police officer, child endangerment, and reckless driving, as well as municipal motor vehicle citations, Haddonfield Police Chief Jason Cutler said.
Capacchione is alleged to have driven a Dodge Charger down the Kings Highway sidewalk, through Haddon Township, and into Audubon, where eyewitnesses said he tried to force his way into their homes and vehicles after crashing his car.
He was arrested by Audubon Police Thursday evening.
Capacchione’s toxicology results were still pending Friday morning; neither could the chief confirm whether the Dodge Charger he allegedly drove was a de-comissioned police vehicle.
“We are extremely fortunate that no one got hurt,” Cutler said.
While underscoring the rarity of aggressive driving incidents in the borough, the chief said he shares in the public frustration over the use of any vehicle as an instrument of crime.
“It’s a societal issue with the reckless driving and the disregard for human life,” Cutler said. “It’s very difficult with the amount of vehicles on the roadway in this day and age.
“Criminals just don’t care,” he said. “The motor vehicle is just the tool that they’re using; it’s the person behind the wheel. They have no value of human life or human property.”
Haddonfield Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich thanked first responders for their efforts to capture a suspect in the case, and said that borough resources will now be directed to helping support those affected.
“I’m just grateful that a crisis was averted because there could have been some real damage to human life,” Bianco Bezich said.
“The focus now is on helping facilitate cleanup with landlords and business owners, and reminding people that this is a perfect time to support the local businesses that were impacted.”
Local governments in South Jersey are beginning to have more conversations about how to design the built environments of their communities to protect pedestrians and support walkability, Bianco Bezich said.
Although such projects take time and money to develop, “we can be thinking about physical design elements that would be more protective,” she said.
At the same time, the Haddonfield mayor believes that community health initiatives also play a necessary role in public safety.
“If we can’t have honest conversations about what’s going on where and when, we can’t empower our communities,” Bianco Bezich said.
“When something like this happens, there’s trauma, there’s a wake, an aftermath,” she said. “We have to make resources available to the people who were impacted.”
This is a developing story. Stick with NJ Pen for updates.
All persons charged with crimes are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. An arrest is not a conviction.
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