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Creepy road block on NJ highway explained

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Imagine you’re driving alone along a dark, deserted highway when you spot cones in the middle of the lane.

You slow to a crawl, rightfully assuming that authorities are stopping drivers.

But instead of seeing a police officer, you spot a plainclothes man emerge from the shadows, his hands in his pockets, stalking slowly toward your car.

That was the alarming experience of a driver in New Jersey who captured the creepy road block on his dashboard camera.

Ivan Tukhtin said he was driving down I-78 near the New Jersey Turnpike early Monday when he came across the suspicious road block and saw a car parked on the side of the road, with no lights or hazards flashing.

As the driver slowed down, a man in jeans came into view and approached his car.

At first, the driver tries to pass on the left, but the mystery man appears to make a move for the front of his vehicle.

“I asked him what he was doing to lead him away from the front of the car, as soon as he acted suspicious I left,” and called police, Tukhtin said in the caption of his YouTube video.

Though nerve wracking, the encounter may have been innocuous — a lapse in judgement rather than a robbery attempt, New Jersey State Police said.

State Police Capt. Stephen Jones said the cones were gone by the time troopers responding to reports of suspicious persons arrived. The troopers learned the car had run out of gas.

Kareem Walston, 37, of Orange, was charged with driving under the influence, police said. His passenger, Hashen Clark, 36, of Jersey City, was charged with hindering.

It wasn’t immediately clear if they had attorneys.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.