Anthony Sims Jr., wanted in connection with the November shooting of two brothers on Red Bank’s West Side, was caught this morning by Highlands police, Red Bank’s Capt. Steve McCarthy says.
McCarthy said police on an unrelated investigation went to a house on Barberie Avenue where, at 6:46a, one of the officers recognized the 19-year-old Sims from a wanted poster that Red Bank had distributed to nearby authorities.
The Highlands officer “asked him who he was, and Sims confirmed” his identity.
He was arrested without incident, McCarthy said, and no weapons were found.
“The officer did a great job,” McCarthy said.
Sgt. Joseph Rogers of the Highlands Police said members of that department were conducting an investigation that led to the arrests of a two people on suspicion of drug activity.
After taking Alice D. Jones, 37 and Fuller L. Fitzpatrick, 40, into custody, police “learned of the presence of” at least one other adult somewhere in the house who they didn’t know about, Rogers said.
Further investigation found that “other persons” were asleep inside, he said. They were awakened, and Ptl. William Siegle recognized Sims, he said.
“We were wrapping up, and were unaware he was in the residence at that time,” Rogers said.
Rogers said there was no indication of how long Sims had been in the house. Still, “we had reason to believe they knew he was there,” Rogers said of Jones and Fitzpatrick.
In addition to being charged with possession and intent to distribute cocaine, they were charged with hindering apprehension of a suspect, said Rogers. Their bail was set at $400,000 each, with no option to put down 10 percent.
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Among those detained at the scene, but not charged was Sims’s pregnant girlfriend, Amber Morris, Highlands Detective Sgt. Louis Fundora said.
Superior Court Judge Jamie Perri set Sims’ bail at $3 million, according to McCarthy As of this hour, Sims is in the custody of Red Bank on an outstanding warrant for three counts of attempted murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He’ll be transferred to the Monmouth County Correctional Facility shortly, McCarthy said.
The circumstances, and names of victims, in the Nov. 26 shooting at the Montgomery Terrace public housing apartments on Tilton Avenue have never been disclosed by Monmouth County investigators, who quickly took control of the case. They said the information blackout was necessary to protect witnesses and not tip their hand to Sims, who was on the run.
Neighbors and area religious officials, though, confirmed that the two victims were young adult brothers. One of them was out of the hospital within days. The other, shot in the neck, was at least partially paralyzed and is undergoing therapy in an effort to regain his ability to walk, people who know him said.
The late-night shooting was not related to guns or illegal drug activity, authorities said. Local officials confirmed that an interpersonal dispute led to the gunfire, in which Sims is alleged to have shot at and missed a third man.
The shooting was the third incident of gunfire on the West Side in a span of months, though it was the only one in which anyone was injured. It prompted an outpouring of concern and outrage, leading to a candlelight vigil and emotional calls at local government meetings for increased security and policing.
The incident also prompted cries for greater investment by the borough into programs and facilities for young people, including the possible creation of a community center.
In response, Mayor Pasquale Menna and police officials outlined a series of measures to beef up patrols throughout town and to bolster security at Montgomery Terrace and the borough’s other subsidized housing complex, Evergreen Terrace.
A committee has been appointed to study the question of whether and how to create a community center.