LITTLE EGG HARBOR NJ November 15 2019 – A male juvenile was in custody Thursday night after he confronted an Ocean County security officer at knifepoint and attempted to commandeer his vehicle at Freedom Fields County Park, according to township police.
The Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department was summoned to the scene off Route 539 about 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The county security officer reported that an unknown male had approached his vehicle, brandished a knife and demanded possession of his vehicle, police said in a prepared statement late Thursday night.
“The security guard was able to pull away without incident and during this time the male walked into the wood line,” the statement said.
Ocean County security officers are not sworn law enforcement officers. They are uniformed but not armed — made up of mostly retired or young appointees — and operate within a civilian department under the jurisdiction of the Board of Freeholders.
After the security officer was able to flee from the carjacking, he notified law enforcement. Police officers from the Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton departments responded to the park and established a perimeter, police said.
Little Egg Harbor Patrolman Brian Smith and his K-9 partner “Hooks” were among the police units dispatched to the scene to begin a search for a suspect.
Smith and “Hooks” tracked the juvenile to the woods where he had gone hiding.
The boy, who was still a distance from the officers when he was detected, attempted to make a run for it, police said.
Ultimately, the boy was apprehended by Little Egg Harbor officers Michael Pritsch and Chris Arciniegas, police said.
The juvenile — who was not identified because of his age — was taken into custody and found to be in possession of a knife. The boy was charged with carjacking, robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
The juvenile remained in the custody of authorities late Thursday night, police said.
Anyone who may have had contact with a suspicious male during his or her time at the park or in its vicinity is asked to contact Little Egg Harbor police at 609-296-3666, ext. 170.
The county security officer was not identified. The officers are primarily assigned to guard county parks and other county properties.