Man arrested in aftermath of attack


A Harrison man has been arrested for allegedly driving away a suspect wanted in an armed attack on a Newark resident last month in Harrison.

Kevin Vargas, 21, is charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery and is being held at the Hudson County Jail on $102,500 bail with no 10% cash option, pending court action.

According to Harrison PD, police responded to a 911 distress call at 8:26 p.m. on Aug. 23 about an assault reported near a S. Fifth St. location. There, police said, a 19-year-old town resident told them a man had just pistol-whipped him in the head and tried to rob him.

Police said the victim reported he was hanging out on Harrison Ave. near fifth St. with his girlfriend when a man he described as a light-skinned Hispanic, about 5-feet-10 and about 165 pounds, approached him on foot near the 9/11 Memorial in front of the Harrison Post Office and suggested they take a walk to talk about the repayment of $20 that the 19-year-old owed a third party.

The victim told police he complied and the pair walked south on Fifth St., turning right onto Ann St. where the man allegedly shoved an object concealed in a black plastic bag into his stomach and demanded that he give him everything in his pockets.

When the victim refused, the man reportedly told him that unless he gave him the $20, he would shoot him, to which the victim replied that he intended to pay back the money, police said.

At this point, the victim told police, the man pulled a weapon out of the bag and repeated that he would shoot. The victim told police that as he began walking back to his girlfriend, the man came up behind him and hit him in the head with the weapon, then began punching him. The victim told police a scuffle ensued, he was thrown against a parked car and a man the victim identified as Kevin Vargas, 21, of Harrison, from whom he had borrowed the $20, emerged from the vehicle and broke up the fight.

Both the attacker and Vargas then fled in the vehicle, described by the victim as a purple 1997 Acura Integra, N.J. registration, south on Fifth St., the victim told police.

Police said MONOC was called to the scene to examine the victim who had a bump on his head. The victim declined further medical treatment, they said. Meanwhile, police secured a warrant for the arrest of Vargas.

On Sept. 8, Harrison PD Det. Corey Karas spotted the Acura Integra parked on Harrison Ave. near Ogden Ave. and waited until the registered owner, Kevin Vargas, entered the vehicle. He then placed Vargas under arrest and arranged for the vehicle to be impounded.

The alleged attacker remains at large.

– Ron Leir 

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