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ARREST IN GUNPOINT ASSAULT, ROBBERY

Red Bank Police are reporting today that a man was abducted at gunpoint, beaten and robbed at dusk Monday, and that a 21-year-old suspect is in custody.

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According to Capt. Steve McCarthy, two officers — Sgt. Eliot Ramos and Det. Joey Fields — were investigating another case near the intersection of Leighton and Locust avenues when they were approached by the 27-year-old victim, who said he had just been robbed at gunpoint.

The man, a Long Branch resident, said he’d been walking on Shrewsbury Avenue when a man he recognized pulled up alongside him in a vehicle and offered a ride.

From a press release issued by McCarthy:

The victim accepted the ride and upon entering the vehicle, the accused drew what appeared to be a handgun and pointed it at the victim.

According to police, the assailant told the victim that he had been waiting to see him because the victim had stolen from him a number of years ago.

The accused then drove the victim to Leighton Place and parked, at which point he began to strike the victim about the head and face with the handgun.

The victim then ran from the car into a small wooded area, with the accused chasing after him. After a short distance, the accused caught the victim and continued to beat him with the gun. During this assault, the accused removed money from the victim’s pockets. The accused then re-entered his vehicle and fled from the scene.

Though the victim told police he didn’t know his assailant’s name, an investigation led police to identify the suspect as Jose E. Perez, of Red Bank. Warrants for robbery, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose were issued for Perez’s arrest.

Perez was arrested yesterday by Aberdeen police at the home of an associate in that town and later turned over to Red Bank police. Subsequent investigation by Investigators Errico Vescio and David Hicks led to the recovery of a replica semi automatic handgun, according to McCarthy.

Municipal Judge William Himelman set bail at $50,000 and Perez was transferred to the Monmouth County Correctional Facility.

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