Quick police action leads to arrests

Primary school locked down as a precaution


Antonio Domingo Suarez-Perez aka "Mingo" Antonio Domingo Suarez-Perez aka “Mingo” The Red Bank Primary School was in an “informal lockdown” on the morning of Feb. 10 in the wake of a double homicide that had occurred nearby in the early morning hours, according to Red Bank Superintendent of Schools Laura Morana.

Quick action by a Red Bank police officer led to the arrests of three suspects, two Red Bank residents and a Long Branch resident, Feb. 10 in connection with the murders, which had occurred shortly after 1:35 a.m.

Several hours later, Morana decided to take precautionary action.

“I received a phone call from one of the staff members who had learned about whatever had happened that evening,” Morana said last week. “Since we did not have any details [other than] that a homicide had taken place, my instructions to the building principal was just to make [the staff] aware of the situation.”

Another lockdown took place at the primary school on River Street on Dec. 3, when a domestic-violence stabbing incident occurred outside the school, prompting a one-hour lockdown.

Amy Goldsmith, president of the West Side Community Group and a resident of Locust Avenue, said Friday the homicides “are not a reflection of the neighborhood.”

Samson Theodore Hearn aka "Freedom" Samson Theodore Hearn aka “Freedom” “This is a tragedy for the people [involved] and for their families. They had a dispute and it had nothing to do with the rest of neighborhood. These are individuals who had a thing going on among themselves. It was those four guys, not the neighborhood.”

She noted that concerns about crime can be addressed during the Crime Watch portion of the West Side Community Group’s monthly meetings.

The group meets at River Street Commons on the second Wednesday of the month, beginning at 7 p.m.

According to a press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Red Bank police were dispatched to the vicinity of Locust Avenue after multiple 911 calls were received on Feb. 10.

Upon arrival, police discovered the bodies of Joseph Fann, 23, of Red Bank, inside a 1998 white Lexus, and Sidney Wakefield, 26, of Long Branch, at the corner of Locust Avenue and Lexington Place.

Both men had sustained multiple gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

Eric Joel Figueras aka "Pun" Eric Joel Figueras aka “Pun” The vehicle that Fann’s body was found in was registered to Wakefield.

Samson Theodore Hearn, aka “Freedom,” 26, of Fair Haven, Eric Joel Figueras, aka “Pun,” 25, of Red Bank, and Antonio Domingo Suarez-Perez, aka “Mingo,” 21, of Red Bank, were charged with the murders, the Prosecutor’s Office said.

According to the press release, Suarez- Perez has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, armed robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of a weapon, and tampering with physical evidence.

The Prosecutor’s Office said Figueras and Hearn have each been charged with two counts of felony murder and one count each in the first degree of armed robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of a weapon, and obstructing the administration of law.

According to the statement, detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Red Bank Police Department began a joint investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the two men.

The press release said that one of the Red Bank responding officers, Ptl. James De- Ponte, observed a black Audi containing three individuals depart the area where the two dead men were found as he responded to the scene. After securing the scene and waiting for backup to arrive, DePonte went in search of the vehicle.

The Prosecutor’s Office said that within minutes, DePonte located the three suspects traveling in a black Audi northbound on Route 35 in the vicinity of Twinbrooks Avenue in Middletown Township.

A motor vehicle stop was conducted with the assistance of Middletown police, and Hearn, Figueras and Suarez-Perez were taken to Red Bank police headquarters.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation revealed that all five men were acquainted with each other and that the three men in the Audi had a chance encounter with Fann and Wakefield at a local gas station on the evening of Monday, Feb. 9.

The investigation further revealed that there was a confrontation between Suarez-Perez and the two victims approximately two hours after in the area of Locust Avenue during which Suarez-Perez brandished a handgun and then allegedly fatally shot both victims, the release states.

According to First Assistant Prosecutor Peter Warshaw, the question of whether the shootings were gang related remains under investigation.

State Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Quinn, Monmouth County, set cash bail for Suarez-Perez at $3,372,500 and for Figueras and Hearn at $1, 877,500 each.

All three were lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township in lieu of bail.

Superior Court Judge Ira E. Kreizman presided over their initial court appearance Feb. 11.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin said, “Excellent police work in conjunction with cooperation from members of the public has resulted in the expeditious arrest of three individuals for the brutal murders of two young men. Arrests such as this stand as a testament to law enforcement’s commitment to protect the public from the horrific consequences of gun violence.”

The investigation into the shootings is ongoing and Valentin urges anyone with information that may be pertinent to the two homicides to contact Detective Jose Cruz of the Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 and/or Detective Lt. Eliot Ramos of the Red Bank Police Department at 1-732-904- 6831.

Despite the charges, the Prosecutor’s Office

notes that every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond

a reasonable doubt following a trial at which the defendants have all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and state law.