Ocean County Man Arrested After Long-Term Pursuit

Kevin Valverde-Cruz (Photo courtesy Ocean County Jail)

  JACKSON – A Township man has been charged after evading authorities on several different occasions, police said.

  Kevin Valverde-Cruz, 20, of Jackson, was charged with three counts of Aggravated Assault and three counts of Eluding Law Enforcement in connection with incidents that occurred on October 18, 2022 and October 22, 2022, in Lakewood.

  According to authorities, Valverde-Cruz was speeding in a white Jeep Grand Cherokee on October 18, 2022. When officers attempted to pull him over, he sped onto the Garden State Parkway. A pursuit began but was ultimately terminated due to public safety concerns, officials said.

  Later that evening, Valverde-Cruz was located on the shoulder of the westbound lane of Central Avenue in Lakewood. When officers made contact with Valverde-Cruz, he did not comply and proceeded to put the vehicle in reverse and strike a detective’s car. Valverde-Cruz then abruptly turned back into the roadway almost striking the detectives and fled the area, police said.

  During this encounter, a detective did fire one round at the side of his Jeep, officials said.

  On October 22, 2022, a Lakewood Police Officer attempted to pull over Valverde-Cruz in the area of Third Street and Clifton Avenue. However, he fled the area speeding. The Officer did not pursue, officials said.

  After authorities identified the driver Valverde-Cruz, a search warrant was performed at his home in Jackson Township on January 10. Valverde-Cruz was arrested without incident and processed at Lakewood Township Police Department. Police said the white Jeep Grand Cherokee was located at the home. Valverde-Cruz was transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is currently lodged pending a detention hearing.

  Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer commended the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Lakewood Township Police Department Patrol Division, Jackson Township Police Department, Howell Township Police Department, Ocean County Regional SWAT and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation and Valverde-Cruz’s apprehension.

  The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.