Pennsauken Man Charged in High-Speed Chase, Merchantville Officer Fired on Car


Twenty-four-year-old Christian Vargas was charged with eluding police after fleeing through Merchantville, where a police officer fired into his vehicle.

By Matt Skoufalos | December 8, 2017

File photo: the Blue Monkey Tavern, Merchantville. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

A Pennsauken man allegedly led police on a high-speed chase through Merchantville and Pennsauken yesterday, refusing to stop even when a Merchantville officer fired on his car.

According to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office (CCPO), 24-year-old Christian Vargas faces second-degree eluding charges in connection with the incident, in which he is alleged to have exceeded speeds of 60 miles per hour through residential neighborhoods.

Around 3:15 p.m. Thursday, Vargas was headed north on Chestnut Street, where he refused to stop for a Merchantville Police Officer performing crossing guard duties, according to the CCPO. The officer fired a shot into the windshield of Vargas’ vehicle, but the man sped away.

Later that evening, the owner of the vehicle reported it missing, and then eventually told police that Vargas was outside the police station, the CCPO said. CCPO Spokesperson Alex McVeigh said that Vargas is being held on the strength of a traffic warrant from Gloucester Township. He is pending an appearance in New Jersey Superior Court December 12.

The officer who fired the shot is on administrative leave pending the investigation, as per guidelines from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. Merchantville Police are not involved in the investigation.

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