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Man arrested for robbery, assault behind Somerset County church

BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – An Ocean County man has been arrested in connection to an assault and robbery that occurred earlier this year on the path behind the Blessed Sacrament Church in Bridgewater Township, according to Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald.

Elias Rodriguez, 45, of Brick Township was charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree attempted sexual assault, second-degree attempted aggravated sexual assault, McDonald said.

On July 9, at around 9:54 a.m., police received a 9-1-1 call reporting a theft in progress behind Blessed Sacrament Church on Washington Valley Road. Upon arrival, officers met with an adult female from Bridgewater Township, who reported being assaulted by an unknown man while walking the path behind the church, McDonald said.

The victim reported that while walking the path behind the church, Rodriguez allegedly came up behind her and placed his hands over her eyes and mouth. The victim then began to struggle with Rodriguez, McDonald said.

The victim and Rodriguez fell to the ground, where the suspect took the victim’s cellular telephone and fled the area. The victim chased after Rodriguez observing him enter a dark colored SUV and leave the area, McDonald said.

An investigation conducted by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and the Bridgewater Police Department led to the identification of Rodriguez as a suspect in this case, McDonald said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, Rodriguez was located and arrested in Jackson Township without incident. He was charged and then lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing, McDonald said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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