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.