In 2003, officer Melvin Lisoljo was killed in the line of duty, becoming the first Hispanic police officer to do so in Newark, NJ. Tuesday, in honor of his service, an intersection was named after him.
Melvin, 35, and his brother Sgt. Juan Lisojo had been working in the same building, Juan for the Essex County Juvenile Corrections division, and Melvin for the Newark Police Department, before he died.
Sadly, on June 24, 2003, while Melvin was responding to shots fired when his patrol car was struck by an intoxicated driver that had blown a red light. His car flipped and he was killed, though his partner, who was driving, survived. The drunk driver, Akram Evans, is currently serving 20 years in prison for vehicular homicide after accepting a plea agreement in 2005. He was also charged with recklessly operating a vehicle and driving while intoxicated, and was wanted on several outstanding warrants, which included one for an incident where he was suspected of exchanging gunfire with several Newark officers.
Tuesday, friends, family of the Lisojo’s met for the dedication ceremony of the newly named Melvin Lisojo Plaza, hosted by the Hispanic Law Enforcement Society, at the intersection of Dickerson and Duryea streets, an intersection where the building the Lisojo brothers worked at.
Melvin is survived by three children, his parents, a sister, and four brothers.
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