What to Know
- Angel Padilla was one of two Linden police officers wounded in a shootout with bombing suspect Ahmad Rahimi on Sept. 19, 2016
- Padilla was shot in the torso, but he was wearing a bulletproof vest, saving him from more serious injury
- The other shot officer, Pete Hammer, had a graze wound to the head and was released from the hospital a day after Padilla
One of two New Jersey police officers hailed as heroes after capturing suspected Chelsea bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi following a three-day national manhunt last September has been arrested on a DWI charge following a weekend crash.
Angel Padilla, who was shot in the torso during the Sept. 19, 2016, shootout with the alleged terrorist, was driving a 2011 Jeep on West St. George Avenue in Linden Saturday when he collided with a 2013 Cadillac traveling in the same direction, according to the local police department. The Cadillac driver, a 54-year-old woman, was evaluated for minor injuries at the scene.
Padilla, a 17-year veteran of the force, wasn't hurt. Officials say one of the responding officers recognized Padilla as the driver and contacted a supervisor, who took over the investigation.
Padilla was released pending a court appearance.
Both the Linden police chief and the Union County prosecutor's office declined NJ.com requests for comment on the investigation. The website says its efforts to reach Padilla were not successful.
Padilla's name was catapulted into national headlines following the shootout with Rahimi in Linden. It came two days after a pressure bomb exploded in Chelsea a beautiful Saturday night, leaving 30 people with minor injuries. Earlier that same morning, a pipe bomb went off at a Marine race in Seaside Park. No one was hurt in that explosion. The following day, another explosive was found at a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey. That one did not detonate.
Rahimi, an Afghanistan-born U.S. citizen who underwent extensive surgery after being shot 10 times in the Linden shootout, has pleaded not guilty to a litany of charges, including terror counts and attempted murder of police officers.
His New York City terror trial is scheduled to begin next year.