Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced today that Miguel Angel Villegas, 29, of New Haven, Connecticut was charged with Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C11-3a(1); Kidnapping in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1b(1); Possession of a Weapon For an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a(1); and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5b(1).
On the morning of Thursday, November 21, 2019, a Tuckerton Borough Police Officer exchanged gunfire with Villegas after the vehicle in which he was a passenger fled a lawful motor vehicle stop near the intersection of Route 9 and North Green Street, subsequently causing a collision with another vehicle.
The Officer was not injured in the exchange of gunfire. Villegas fled the area on foot, and a massive manhunt ensued which ultimately lead to his capture in New York City. Villegas waived extradition, and is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Prosecutor Billhimer would like to thank the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, United States Marshals Service, New York City Police Department, Tuckerton Borough Police Department, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center, New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, New Jersey Transit Police, Ocean County Regional SWAT, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, New Haven (Connecticut) Police, Port Authority Police, Tuckerton Fire Department, and Tuckerton Public Works Department for their outstanding work and collective assistance leading to the apprehension of Villegas and his return to Ocean County to face these charges.