A state grand jury has voted not to file criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the deaths of Dishawn Bellamy, 32, and a 17-year-old male, both from Asbury Park, New Jersey, during a fatal June 5, 2022 crash in Neptune Township, after Bellamy fled from an attempted vehicle stop by Asbury Park police officers.
The deaths were investigated by the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and presented to New Jersey residents serving on the state grand jury.
In July 2021, OPIA issued standard operating procedures to ensure these grand jury presentations are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, with appropriate transparency regarding the process.
The investigation included interviews of witnesses, photographs, review of body-worn and police dashboard camera footage, and autopsy results from the medical examiner.
This evidence, including video of the incident, was presented to a state grand jury. After hearing the testimony and evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations Monday, October 16, 2023, and voted “no bill,” meaning the grand jury decided no criminal charges should be filed against Asbury Park Police Officers Samuel Griffeth and Scott Ritter.
According to the investigation, on June 5, 2022, at 7:16 p.m., Officers Griffeth and Ritter responded to the area of Atkins Avenue and Boston Way in Asbury Park after hearing gunfire.
As the officers responded, a Ford Explorer, driven by Bellamy, sped past Officer Ritter’s patrol vehicle.
Ritter recognized Bellamy, who was known to have an active arrest warrant for a charge of attempted murder.
Ritter radioed to Griffeth to stop the vehicle.
Griffeth then followed the Explorer, with Officer Ritter following behind.
Shortly thereafter, the Explorer took off at a high speed. The officers did not match the Explorer’s speed but did have their emergency lights flashing and trailed the SUV as it left the scene.
The Explorer drove less than a mile before Bellamy lost control of the vehicle while attempting a left turn, thereby rolling over and ultimately striking a home in Neptune Township, New Jersey.
The vehicle came to rest in a tree-lined area along the side of the home.
Approximately 40 seconds elapsed from the time Officer Griffeth radioed that the Explorer was not stopping until the vehicle crashed.
When Bellamy lost control of the Explorer, it was more than a block away from the police vehicles driven by Officers Ritter and Griffeth. Police recovered two firearms near the crashed Explorer.
As a result of the crash, the 17-year-old and the driver, Bellamy, died.
Two other occupants in the vehicle, a 15-year-old male from Asbury Park and a 25-year-old male from Neptune, exited the SUV and started running away.
They were stopped by officers, without incident, after a short foot pursuit. Neither had significant injuries from the crash.