JACKSON – A local man was directed into an ambush by a girl he met online, police said.
The victim, a 20-year-old man from Manalapan, was reportedly led to the laundry room of Prospect Pointe Apartments on Brewers Bridge Road and assaulted by multiple suspects just after midnight on July 17, police said.
Arriving Officers Derek Thomason, Robert Reiff and Thomas Conti located the victim who suffered head injuries after allegedly being directed to the apartment complex by a female he had met online and had been speaking with. She led him to one of the laundry rooms in the basement of the apartment complex, where he was assaulted by at least three male suspects, one of whom he said to have recognized. The victim told police he lost consciousness at one point, but was later able to get outside, where the assault continued and he began yelling for help.
Officer Thomason later pulled over a vehicle that was believed to be connected to a suspect. It was occupied by a male and female identified as having been involved in the incident. The male had fresh blood on his face, hands and shirt, police said.
Kevin Prieto, 22, of Howell was charged with aggravated assault and conspiracy and the female was taken into custody, processed and later released to a family member. The female was a juvenile, so her identity is not being made public.
Prieto was lodged in Ocean County Jail after being processed and a juvenile complaint charging the female suspect with conspiracy was prepared. The matter will be referred to the Family Court. The victim was treated by First Aid and transported to a hospital for further treatment.
The investigation is ongoing to identify the other suspects reportedly involved in the assault. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Jackson Police Department at 732-928-1111 or through P3 Tips.