A group of Brick police officers raced to a township street where a resident reported a man getting into their vehicle and closing the door, then tracked the suspect and arrested him after a struggle that injured one officer.
The incident took place Saturday night 10:59 p.m., after a resident called 911 to report the vehicle burglary in progress around 5th Avenue in the Herbertsville section. A total of 10 patrolmen and sergeants responded, with Ptl. Bennett first spotting a man wearing dark clothing walking on Maple Avenue from 2nd Avenue towards 1st Avenue. Officers lost sight of the suspect and established a perimeter, said Sgt. Neal Pedersen. Walking on foot, Ptl. Riccio heard what sounded like a person climbing a fence to the rear of a residence on 1st Avenue and investigated, ultimately finding a man who fit the description of the suspect in a resident’s backyard.
Riccio, Bennett and Ptl. Bailey chased the man on foot, and struggled with him as he resisted arrest, Pedersen said. The man, identified as Marquise Harris, of Brick, was transported to Ocean Medical Center after the arrest and later brought to the Ocean County Jail. Riccio sustained minor injuries during the struggle and was treated and released at the scene.
Harris was processed by Brick police and charged with third degree aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fourth degree obstructing the administration of law, third degree resisting arrest by force and third degree burglary.
“We are hopeful that this arrest will put an end to the vehicle burglaries that have been affecting the north side of Brick Township,” said Pedersen, reminding residents to lock their car doors, since most vehicle burglaries occur in vehicles that are not locked.
“We believe it is important to lock your vehicles even if you are home,” he said.
Pedersen also commended residents who quickly called police to report the suspicious activity.
“We recognize that it is our residents that often make the difference,” he said. “As in this case, a resident saw something unusual, took quick action by contacting the police, thereby aiding officers in locating and arresting a night time predator.”
Anyone with information regarding criminal activity can contact the police department and remain anonymous, police said in a statement.