SOUTH BRUNSWICK — The search for a suspect who allegedly assaulted a South Brunswick police officer has ended, according to a statement from the department.
Alan Fratello Jr., 46, of Monmouth Junction surrendered at 12:20 p.m. Wednesday to police headquarters, a day after he allegedly grabbed the tie of Detective Eric Tighelaar while inside the vehicle and reportedly started to drive away. The detective had to run alongside the Kia Sorrento before he was able to free himself.
Fratello was originally stopped after police received a call Tuesday afternoon of a person driving erratically on Route 32 near the Route 535 intersection.
“He knew we were going to track him down, it was just a matter of hours,” said South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka on Wednesday in a statement. “Family members had reached out to detectives because they saw the media reports about him being wanted. He had no option to surrender.”
Hayducka gave credit to the public pressure from social media that lead to the suspect surrendering. He also credited assistance from The United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force and the Edison, Toms River and South Amboy police departments.
Fratello was charged with multiple assaults, including one with a deadly weapon, and eluding. He is being held at the Middlesex County Correction Center pending his first court appearance.
The passenger in the Kia, Jacqueline Smith, 41, of Monmouth Junction, remains at large, police said. She as active warrants.
Both individuals were already wanted by other law enforcement agencies for unrelated offenses, police said.