Suspect charged for attacking woman inside Newark Airport parking garage

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NEWARK USA - APRIL 26 2016: Escalator to the terminals at newark liberty international airport station. Newark is the sixth busiest airport in the United States

NEWARK, NJ – Police have arrested and charged Thomassal Watkins, 40, of West New York, for the assault of a woman inside a Newark Airport parking garage last Thursday.

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Watkins with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and criminal sexual contact.

Allegedly, Watkins sexually assaulted a woman while she was walking to her car inside the parking garage connected to Newark Airport’s Terminal A at around 9pm on Thursday.

“The responding officers were able to quickly locate and apprehend the subject on airport property.  An exhaustive investigation jointly led by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Port Authority Police Department, with the assistance of the Union County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene unit, resulted in the identification of Watkins as the suspect and collection of significant evidence,” said Union County Assistant Prosecutor Caroline Lawlor.

“We are grateful for the extraordinary collaboration with our local law enforcement partners and for the exemplary police work of the Port Authority Police Department, which led to the identification and apprehension of Watkins within minutes of the attack,” Prosecutor William Daniel said.

“We appreciate the swift response from our partners at the Union County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s Offices and commend our Port Authority police officers for the exceptional work that led to the apprehension of the suspect,” added Port Authority Police Superintendent Ed Cetnar.

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Watkins is currently awaiting a pretrial detention hearing scheduled for Thursday and remains lodged in the Essex County Jail.