CRANBURY — A Camden man has been arrested and charged with carjacking the vehicle of a 79-year-old township man, who was abducted in his car before being released unharmed, Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Chief Rickey A. Varga of the Cranbury Police Department announced Tuesday.
Frankie N. Gonzalez, 19, was arrested and charged on July 29 with carjacking, kidnapping, aggravated assault, robbery, theft, burglary and terroristic threats after crashing the victim’s car on an exit ramp on Route 195 west in Heightstown while attempting to elude police, according to the prosecutor’s office. The defendant was not injured.
Bail was set at $500,000 for Gonzalez, who was being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick.
The incident began at 10:25 a.m. on July 29 when Gonzalez allegedly approached the 79-year-old Cranbury resident, who was stopped at a red light while sitting in his car, a 2009 Mercedes CLK, on Route 130 south at the Dey Road intersection.
Gonzalez allegedly got into the vehicle, threatened the man by claiming to have a gun, and ordered him to drive south on Route 130. Gonzalez allegedly released the man on North Main Street in Cranbury and drove away in the stolen car. The victim’s identity is being withheld at this time.
Hightstown Police, alerted to the carjacking, saw Gonzalez driving on Route 130 in Robbinsville and stopped the driver, who pulled over, but then fled, heading west onto Route 195, where he crashed on the off-ramp at about 10:45 a.m. Gonzalez was apprehended by State Police, who had joined in the search for the stolen Mercedes.
Gonzalez was returned to Cranbury, where he was charged.
Carey commended police in Cranbury and Hightstown and the State Police for their quick work in tracing and arresting the suspect.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Gonzalez are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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