Linden Police said a Flemington resident is under arrest following an alleged carjacking that occurred on Route 1 on Monday.
According to police, the incident began when Mr. Manuel Martinho, 51, of Flemington, and an unidentified accomplice hired a taxi to take them from Elizabeth to the Linden Home Depot, 701 W. Edgar Road.
Following their arrival in Linden, just after 1:00 p.m., Martinho entered the store while the taxi waited in the parking lot.
Police said Martinho exited the store a few minutes later, loaded merchandise into the taxi's trunk, and requested that the driver returns to Elizabeth.
The taxi left the scene, traveling north on Route 1 back toward Elizabeth.
While approaching the intersection of South Park Avenue, the taxi driver, a 78-year-old man from Elizabeth, was notified by the taxi dispatcher to return to Home Depot.
Linden Police said the men screamed at the driver to ignore the order, but when the driver made the U-turn, Manuel allegedly began punching him repeatedly until he fell out of the vehicle.
Police say Manuel reportedly took control of the vehicle and continued traveling north on Route 1.
The victim was treated on scene for minor injuries.
Elizabeth Police Officers located the stolen vehicle in the area of West Jersey Street a short time later.
Twenty-three rolls of Romex wire allegedly stolen from Home Depot, valued at approximately $3,500, were recovered from the vehicle and Martinho was taken into custody.
Police charged Martinho with first-degree carjacking and third-degree shoplifting.
He was committed to the County Jail pending a hearing in Superior Court.
The second suspect, described as a heavy-set Hispanic man wearing a green jacket, remains at large.
This incident remains under investigation, and anyone with information about this incident or any other criminal activity is urged to contact the Linden Police Department Detective Bureau at (908) 474-8537.
These criminal charges are mere accusations.
Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.