UPDATED: VIDEO: Suspect in Custody after Attempting to Knock Down Jewish Woman as part of Gang Initiation
The incidents began about 7:30 PM when the suspect allegedly ran after a 16 year old girl in the area of East 5th Street. Police were called but the suspect had fled.
Moments later, police, as well as LCSW, received another call regarding a similar incident in the area of Lawrence Avenue - this time regarding a man who was attempting to lure or follow a mother and daughter, ages 54 and 16.
About 30 minutes later, an LCSW member, Meyer R. – who has assisted police in several previous arrests – spotted what he believed was the suspect’s vehicle.
The member spun around and kept an eye on the suspect, whose plates were partially covered with a tissue or paper. The member, following the suspect from a distance, immediately notified the LCSW dispatcher, who in turn phoned police.
Moments later, multiple officers – including Street Crimes units – cornered the suspect in the area of 9th Street an Clifton Avenue.
Following a struggle with police, the suspect, a Hispanic male, was taken into custody.
“He was bloodied up the time he was in custody,” a witness told TLS.
Dsgt. Stafordsmith says, “At this time the Lakewood Police Department is investigating at least one attempted kidnapping. The investigation is still in its infancy but there is one person in custody.”
UPDATE 11:45 PM. The suspect was identified as 18 yr old Rafael Laurano-Flores of Lakewood.
Detectives from the Lakewood Police Department Street Crimes Unit were able to locate the victims in this case, says Staffordmsith.
“Further investigation revealed that Laurano-Flores’ intention was to touch and knock down a woman from the Orthodox Jewish community as part of a gang initiation,” Staffordsmith says.
He was ultimately charged with Obstruction, Resisting Arrest, Three counts of Biased Intimidation and Three counts of Biased Harassment. Bail was set in the amount of $18,000 without a 10% option by Judge Basen. He is awaiting transportation to Ocean County Jail at this time.