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Point Pleasant Man Pleads Guilty in Shooting Outside Brielle Bar He Owned

Gavel (Credit: Brian Turner/Flickr)

Gavel (Credit: Brian Turner/Flickr)

The Point Pleasant Borough man accused of shooting the manager of a bar he owned in Brielle has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the shooting as well as a standoff with police which occurred later that day.

Louis W. Cataldo, 64, pleaded guilty Thursday to first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and third degree resisting arrest before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, Jr., according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

A plea agreement calls for Cataldo to receive a sentence of 12 years in a New Jersey state prison. He would be required to serve 85 percent of any sentence imposed prior to becoming eligible for parole. Cataldo would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison, prosecutors said.

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Sentencing before Vernoia is scheduled for July 17, 2015.

The charges stem from the June 18, 2013 shooting outside the Sand Bar restaurant in Brielle, which Cataldo owned. Cataldo shot Nicole Griffin, the manager of the restaurant, in the parking lot after closing time that night. Following the shooting, Cataldo engaged in an eight-hour stand-off with law enforcement officers at his residence in the Bay Harbor condominium complex, during which he was accused of firing shots at officers.

Griffin, after the shooting, was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where she underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to her back and injuries to her lungs and eyes, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, an investigation revealed Cataldo walked Griffin out to her car after the pair closed the restaurant for the night.  Once they reached the parking lot, Griffin got into her car and Cataldo asked her to wait before leaving.  Cataldo then retrieved a handgun from his car, which was parked alongside the victim’s car, walked up to his victim’s car, and fired several shots at her.

Police eventually went to Cataldo’s home, where the standoff ensued. After approximately eight hours of negotiations, members of the Ocean County regional SWAT Team attempted to take Cataldo into custody inside of his house. As the officers attempted to arrest him, Cataldo retreated back towards a bathroom, grabbed a handgun, and fired a shot which did not strike anyone.  He was then taken into custody without further incident.

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