Suspects attempted to take a Princeton woman’s handbag
By Ruth Luse, Managing Editor
LAMBERTVILLE — Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns III and Lambertville Police Director Bruce Cocuzza reported Tuesday afternoon that a quick and well-coordinated response by several law enforcement agencies led to the swift arrests of two individuals allegedly involved in a strong- arm robbery that occurred early that day on Bridge Street, in Lambertville.
Lambertville Police Sgt. First Class Michael O’Rourke and Officer Sharon Polyak were dispatched to 55 Bridge St. as a result of a call about an attempted purse snatch shortly before 9 a.m.
The victim, a 48 year-old woman from Princeton, reported that minutes earlier a white man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses, attempted to forcibly take her handbag. The woman resisted, at which time a male passerby came to her aid and attempted to grab the suspect, who then fled into a gold minivan driven by a female accomplice. Additional witnesses provided police with a vehicle description and license plate number.
The suspects’ and vehicle descriptions were immediately broadcast to surrounding police agencies. The vehicle subsequently was stopped about 30 minutes later in the area of Route 29 and Fiddlers Creek Road, by officers from the Hopewell Township Police Department.
Anthony McMellon, 36, and Dawn Bowker, 34, both from Flemington, were taken into custody by Hunterdon County and Lambertville police investigators.
An 18 month-old child of the suspects was found inside the vehicle, improperly restrained but unharmed. Mr. McMellon was found to be in possession of a knife and Ms. Bowker had drug paraphernalia on her person.
The suspects were arrested and charged with robbery, aggravated assault, criminal possession of a weapon, child endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia. On Tuesday, the suspects were being processed at the Lambertville Police Headquarters, awaiting judicial review of bail.
Police Director Cocuzza stated that “these arrests might not have been made so quickly if not for the outstanding coordination involving officers from the Lambertville, Hopewell Township and West Amwell Township police departments, the Hunterdon County prosecutor’s office and Hunterdon County Sheriff’s Department. These officers all did an outstanding job.”
Lambertville Mayor David M. Del Vecchio commended all of the police officers involved for a “job well done” and added that “the witnesses who came forward to help investigators also deserve high praise”.
The filing of a criminal complaint is merely a step in the criminal justice process. The defendant is presumed innocent until the matter is resolved in a court of law.