EDISON — A man who strangled his girlfriend is on the run after a brief police pursuit Monday night.

Edison police were called to a home on College Drive around 7:10 p.m. after a 33-year-old woman reported she had been assaulted by boyfriend Darnell Ricketts Jr., 30, who left in a Ford Explorer before police arrived.

The woman, who was not seriously injured in the attack, told police that Ricketts had a handgun.

Ricketts was spotted by an officer at the ShopRite supermarket. The officer was unable to get him to stop, according to Deputy Police Chief Robert Dudash. The officer pursued Ricketts for a little over a mile north on Route 1 onto Forest Haven Boulevard, where he was forced to stop by a dead end.

During the pursuit on Route 1, Ricketts sideswiped three vehicles causing minor damage and hit a fourth car at the dead end, according to Dudash.

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Pursuit on foot

Police continued their pursuit of Ricketts on foot with help from the State Police helicopter and K9 unit.

Ricketts was believed to have crossed the New Jersey Turnpike to hide in the area of Edward Stec Boulevard off Woodbridge Avenue. An emergency alert was issued after 9 p.m. asking residents to remain in their homes for about two hours during a search.

Dudash would not disclose where Darnell may be headed.

There are two active warrants for Ricketts' arrest with multiple charges. Dudash asked anyone with information about Ricketts' location should call 732-248-7004.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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