At approximately 10:22 a.m. this morning, a Tuckerton Borough Police Officer exchanged gunfire with Villegas after the vehicle he was a passenger in fled a lawful motor vehicle stop near the intersection of Route 9 and North Green Street and caused a subsequent collision with another vehicle. The Officer was not injured in the exchange of gunfire. Villegas fled on foot and a massive manhunt ensued ending in New York City this evening.
“Villegas will be charged with Attempted Murder, Kidnapping, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Possession of a Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “It is my understanding that Villegas is wanted out of Connecticut. We will be seeking extradition from New York to bring him back here to Ocean County to face these charges,” Prosecutor Billhimer added.
“I’d like to thank the collaborative efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, United States Marshals Service, New York City Police Department, Tuckerton Borough Police Department, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center, New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit, New Jersey Transit Police, Ocean County Regional SWAT, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9, New Haven Police (Connecticut), Port Authority Police, Tuckerton Fire Department and Tuckerton Public Works Department. This was truly a team effort. The public can rest easy tonight knowing the men & women of law enforcement worked through the day into tonight to bring Villegas into custody peacefully,” Prosecutor Billhimer added.
“Even though Villegas is in custody, this remains an ongoing investigation. More details will be released as they become available,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.