July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

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Essex County Sheriff’s Office

Press Release

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Newark – Four Newark juveniles were arrested this afternoon approximately 15 minutes after an armed carjacking incident in Branch Brook Park.  The incident occurred in the recreational facility on Park Drive north at approximately 3:45 p.m.

According to Sheriff Armando Fontoura, a 60-year-old East Orange man had parked his 2019 Chrysler sedan at this location so that he could exercise.  When he returned to his vehicle the four youths armed with what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun demanded the keys to the car, stating “Give it up.”

The Chrysler was driven out of the park and moments later was spotted by other Essex County sheriff’s units and Newark police in the city’s South Ward.

The Chrysler was pursued into Irvington where it crashed on Rutgers Street.

“Two suspects were immediately apprehended and the other two suspects were arrested on foot on Chancellor Avenue in Newark”, Sheriff Fontoura said.  “The handgun, whether real or a facsimile was seen tossed from the highjacked vehicle and recovered on Rutgers Street.  A ballistics examination of the weapon is incomplete at this time.”

The suspects face potential charges of armed carjacking, weapons possession, and receiving stolen property.  Other charges are pending.

“The victim was physically unharmed during this dangerous incident but probably suffering from emotional distress,” Fontoura added.  “It boggles the imagination that anyone in his right mind would commit such an offense in Branchbrook Park in broad daylight.  This park has our highest priority and is patrolled by multiple units both day and night.”

Following questioning which is still ongoing, the four juveniles will be lodged in the Essex County Youth Facility where they will await a hearing in Family Court.