Last Tuesday, Oct. 14, happened to be the birthday of a woman visiting Harrison but it was marred by an unfortunate incident.
Police said the 61-year-old woman and her husband were walking west on Harrison Ave., at 2:53 p.m., when a man riding a bicycle passed the couple, then circled back and grabbed a gold chain from her neck while pushing the woman to the ground.
Police said the robber then ditched the bike and fled on foot on Harrison Ave.
Police said the robber, who was being chased by several men who had reportedly witnessed the incident, was described as an African-American, with long black dreadlocks, wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
As the civilians pursued the suspect onto William St., Harrison Police Dets. Corey Karas and Dave Doyle – after getting a call about a theft from a female victim – ran from headquarters on Cleveland Ave. to Third St., anticipating they’d head off the suspect, who, they reasoned, would be aiming to find the quickest route out of town, possibly to Newark.
And this they did, spotting a man with a black knapsack running on the north side of William St. approaching Third, Doyle said. “We cut him off and ordered him to the ground.”
After the victim and two witnesses positively identified the man as the individual involved in the episode, police placed him under arrest and a search of the suspect yielded the stolen piece of jewelry in his pocket, Doyle said.
The victim, who told police the 30-inch-long chain was a wedding necklace valued at $300, was treated by emergency medical personnel from MONOC (Monmouth Ocean Hospital Service Corp.) for injuries to her neck and hands that she sustained from the suspect pushing her to the ground.
A bicycle, which police believe was the bike the suspect was pedaling at the time of the crime, was recovered at the scene, police said.
The suspect, identified as Curtis Rowe-Williams, 24, of Newark, was charged with robbery, a first degree crime.
Police said that Rowe- Williams, who has a history of prior arrests, was wanted on an active drug-related warrant from Newark. He was taken to Hudson County Jail in Kearny on $75,000 bail with no 10% option.
Harrison Police Chief Derek Kearns commended the two detectives for anticipating the suspect’s potential flight route and for proceeding on that basis, rather than going to the crime scene itself. “It was a good call,” he said.
Police said the victim told them she was planning to return to her native country India the day after the crime.
– Ron Leir