Fugitive surrenders on charges of assaulting a South Brunswick police officer

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SOUTH BRUNSWICK – The suspect who police were seeking in connection to an assault on a South Brunswick police detective has surrendered.

The incident began at 3:45 p.m. on June 12 when motorists told police they observed a 2016 grey Kia Sorrento reportedly driving erratically on Route 32 east near the intersection of Route 535, according to information provided by the South Brunswick Police Department.

Detectives Eric Tighelaar and Monica Posteraro located the Kia and conducted a motor vehicle stop, according to reports. Tighelaar approached the Kia Sorrento and began speaking with the driver, a 46-year-old male from Monmouth Junction, and the front seat passenger, a 41-year-old female from Monmouth Junction.

The driver allegedly grabbed Tighelaar’s tie and began driving away, forcing Tighelaar to run alongside the vehicle, according to police. Tighelaar began pushing himself off of the vehicle and was able to break free. The driver then drove his vehicle over the center median and headed back toward Route 130, police said. Other drivers in the area reported seeing a grey Kia Sorrento driving erratically at that time as well, according to reports.

The man and women were already wanted by other police agencies for unrelated offenses, and the driver had no valid driver’s license, police said.

At 12:20 p.m. on June 13, the male driver turned himself into police.  As a result of this incident, he has been charged with aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a police officer, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and eluding. He was also charged with numerous motor vehicle violations. He was lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center pending his first court appearance.

The woman remained at large, as of press time.

South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka credited the public tips and pressure from social media with making the suspect give up.

“He knew we were going to track him down, it was just a matter of hours. Family members had reached out to detectives because they saw the media reports about him being wanted. He had no option but to surrender,” Hayducka said in a prepared statement.

The chief thanked the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, as well as police officers from Edison, Toms River and South Amboy for their assistance.

He also commented on how this incident highlights the everyday dangers of law enforcement.

“It only takes a split second for a routine interaction to turn into a potential deadly situation. All the individuals involved are lucky that this did not end in tragedy,” he said in the statement.