A Howell man was recently charged with aggravated assault and obstruction of the administration of the law after allegedly assaulting a Howell Police Officer at a nearby Target.
The man in question, 32-year-old Howell Township resident Roger E. Alonso-Soloranzo, is accused of causing a disruption at a Target store located on Route 9 in Howell at approximately 8:56 p.m. on Saturday, December 26th. The incident, which compelled employees to contact the Howell Police Department, was allegedly caused by Alonso-Soloranzo’s state of intoxication at the time.
When officers arrived at the scene, Alonso-Solaranzo was being escorted from the store and was behaving “belligerently,” according to Howell Police Chief Andrew Kudrick Jr. Alonso-Solaranzo was allegedly being uncooperative with the officers while they attempted to search him for weapons, after which he is said to have struggled with police, hitting one officer in the face, while attempting to flee.
After being taken into custody, Alonso-Solaranzo was charged with aggravated assault and obstruction of the administration of the law. He was being held in lieu of bail set at $10,000 at the Monmouth County Jail as of latest reports. In terms of the charges against him, “aggravated assault” may seem somewhat extreme considering the circumstances. However, under New Jersey Law, offenses that may otherwise be considered “simple assault” are enhanced to aggravated assault when the victim is an individual serving in an official capacity. For instance, public servants such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, and judges fall within this classification.
According to N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1(b), a person is guilty of aggravated assault if he (or she) commits a simple assault upon a law enforcement officer. These offenses are generally graded as third degree crimes, which are punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison. In cases such as these, police reports, witness statements, and the testimony of the officers involved become imperative to the State’s case against the defendant.
For additional information related to this incident, access the following article: Drunken Howell man assaulted cop after being kicked out of Target, police say