Toms River police officers arrested a local man who is suspected of forcing a woman and her infant into a vehicle.
According to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Gerson Aguilar-Lara, 24, of Lakewood, was charged with two counts of kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a child, and robbery, in connection with a series of events that began in Jackson Township between March 7 and March 8, 2023.
Prosecutors, in a statement, said that on Tuesday, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a female victim seeking help, but the call was subsequently disconnected. Upon callback, the victim was able to provide her name and basic information before the connection was terminated for a second time.
Jackson police was able to ascertain the address of the victim as a residence on North Chapel Road in Jackson, the statement said, and through investigation, officers were able to determine that the victim and her infant child had been “taken from the residence against their will.”
As police probed more deeply, they found Aguilar-Lara, who was in a dating relationship with the victim, and father of the infant, had “forced the victim and her child into a Chevrolet Equinox and then fled the area.”
After a description of the suspect and his vehicle was put out over the radio, Toms River police officers observed Aguilar-Lara’s vehicle as it turned into a parking lot on Route 37 in that town.
As the vehicle came to a stop, Aguilar-Lara fled on foot, the statement said, but he was ultimately taken into custody by officers of the Toms River Township Police Department. Neither the victim nor her infant child were harmed.
Aguilar-Lara was transported to Jackson Township police headquarters, where he was processed. He is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.