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police & fire

Police Nab Unlicensed Driver After Route 17 Chase

Rifkin was stopped near the P.C. Richard on southbound Route 17.
Rifkin was stopped near the P.C. Richard on southbound Route 17. Photo Credit: Aaron Haber

MAHWAH, N.J. – An unlicensed driver who got onto southbound Route 17 by heading the wrong way up an exit ramp in Mahwah was finally stopped and arrested in Paramus after a high-speed chase Friday night, police said.

Andrea Rifkin, 57, of Philadelphia, "refused to open the door and the window had to be broken to remove her," Mahwah Police Chief James N. Batelli said.

Rifkin's car entered the southbound highway from the off ramp near the corner of MacArthur Boulevard and North Central Avenue around 9:30 p.m., the chief said.

Officer Thomas Mitchell tried to stop her, but Rifkin kept going, he said.

Waldwick and Ridgewood police joined the pursuit, which was called off because of the speed, the chief said.

Paramus police eventually stopped the vehicle – which was Batelli said was unregistered -- near P.C. Richard.

She was charged with resisting arrest, eluding and hindering -- and issued 13 summonses in all from Mahwah, Ridgewood, Waldwick and Paramus -- before being released pending a court hearing.

Barely 24 hours earlier, a disoriented woman driving the wrong way on Route 17 was also stopped in Paramus.

SEE: Wrong-Way Route 17 Driver, 79, Goes From Rochelle Park To Paramus

Hours after Friday night's chase, police from Mahwah and Franklin Lakes pursued another vehicle – this one a stolen SUV -- on Route 208.

SEE: Mahwah/Franklin Lakes PD: Stolen Car Pursuit On Route 208 Hits 120MPH

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