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Brick Attorney Indicted in Toms River Hit-and-Run

John Koufos obstructed a police investigation into collision that injured teen, indictment states

A Brick attorney faces multiple criminal charges after obstructing a police investigation into a in Toms River, Ocean County grand jurors charged in an indictment.

John G. Koufos was indicted Thursday on charges of who was walking on Route 35 that summer night. Koufos, of Koufos and Norgaard, with offices in Long Branch and New Brunswick, had one of his employees lie and say he was driving the 2011 Lexus that sent Kevin O’Brien, 17, of Newtown, Pa. to Jersey Shore University Medical Center with serious injuries, authorities have said.

Koufos, an Ohio Avenue resident, faces the following charges: aggravated assault, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, hindering apprehension or prosecution, witness tampering and obstructing the administration of law.

Authorities initially charged fellow Brick resident Craig Terlizzi in the hit-and-run after he came forward to take responsibility for the collision. However, a week later, Ocean County authorities dropped charges against Terlizzi after an investigation revealed Koufos was behind the wheel, authorities have said. 

“Our investigation now reveals Mr. Terlizzi’s statements in connection with that investigation were false, and made with the intent of shielding his employer, attorney John Koufos, from responsibility for the accident,” Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said in June.

Terlizzi was charged with hindering a police investigation by giving false information to law enforcement.

The night of the collision, witnesses reported seeing a black vehicle speed away in the northbound lanes of Route 35 on the barrier island after striking the teen, Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said at the time. Koufos' car was later found on Downer Avenue in Mantoloking with its windshield smashed from the impact, police said.

The indictment alleges Koufos struck the teen, sped off, and abandoned the car before interfering with the police probe by influencing Terlizzi's statements to authorities.

Authorities have also said that Koufos may have been in the area attending an Ocean County Bar Association dinner at Gabriella’s restaurant in Toms River's Ortley Beach section that night.

Koufos remains free on $75,000 bail, which forbids any contact with Terlizzi.

George February 03, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Amen! Bubba from the next cell likes lawyers.
Jude March 27, 2012 at 10:17 PM
How about but for the grace of god there goes you or I? Do you people realize that at least three lives are devastated. Was the lawyer wrong? Absolutely. But we are only human and we all make mistakes. How about a little compassion people?
Martin March 28, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Compassion? Are you his girlfriend or wife? The traffic "accident" was bad enough (I wonder how much he drank at the BAR Assn.). But then the heartless shark left a kid bleeding on the pavement and sped off into the night. Next, he coerced his employee into lying and taking the rap for him. Throw the book at this creep of a lawyer! He knows the laws and he flouted them -- taking his employee down with him. The soon-to-be-disbarred barrister was indicted on everything but DUI, but the other egregious crimes come with jail time. HOORAY! I have compassion for the poor hit-and-run victim, not Koufos.
Erin Larangeira September 10, 2012 at 11:54 PM
I think Mr koufos made a mistake I know first hand he is not heartless , he is human and I'm sure he felt scared and was concerned about the person he hit , sometimes we do wrong with no intention of it and don't think about the right thing to do in the few seconds you have to think let's all admit just becouse your a lawyer ,doctor, judge etc doesn't mean that there any better then a cleaner, store clerk get my point Mr koufos helped many people and I'm am possitive he does care for the man he hurt and his employee , he will make his wrong right that what he is human . Erin L
David Daur September 11, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Erin, you're an idiot and this lawyer is a scumbag! Can you really believe what you're saying? I personally don't know anybody who would leave the scene of a hit and run (not an accident) where another human being was seriously injured. I pray one of your family members meets the same fate as this poor victim, then let's see if you feel the same way. Most people don't need to think about the right thing to do, they just do it because that's how they live their life. This scumbag should be disbarred for life... end of story!

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