By: Yuritza Arroyo
Ocean County authorities announced that Kevin Valverde-Cruz, 20, of Jackson, has been charged with three counts of Aggravated Assault and three counts of Eluding Law Enforcement in connection with incidents that occurred on October 18 and October 22 in Lakewood Township.
According to Ocean County officials, on October 18, Detectives from the Lakewood Township Police Department observed a white Jeep Grand Cherokee traveling at a high rate of speed.
Officials say the Detectives attempted to effectuate a motor vehicle stop of the vehicle. The vehicle operator failed to stop, and the pursuit was ultimately terminated on the Garden State Parkway due to public safety concerns.
According to the Detectives, later the same evening, the exact vehicle, confirmed by the vehicle's New Jersey registration number from the first encounter, was located on the shoulder of the westbound lane of Central Avenue in Lakewood Township.
Detectives say they approached the vehicle and made contact with the car's operator. The operator did not comply with the Detective’s commands and put the vehicle in reverse, striking the Detective’s vehicle.
The vehicle's operator abruptly turned back into the roadway, almost hitting the Detectives, and fled the area. At that time, one of the Detectives fired one round at the side of the vehicle.
According to Lakewood Police, on October 22, an officer attempted to effectuate a motor vehicle stop on the exact vehicle in the area of Third Street and Clifton Avenue.
Police say the vehicle's operator failed to stop and accelerated at a high rate of speed toward Madison Avenue. The Officer did not pursue the car.
On January 10, the Ocean County Regional SWAT executed a court-authorized search warrant on Valverde- Cruz’s residence in Jackson Township. Valverde-Cruz was taken into custody without incident and processed at Lakewood Township Police Department.
The white Jeep Grand Cherokee was also located at the residence in Jackson Township. Valverde-Cruz was transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.