The same New Jersey Transit police officer who helped saved an infant over the summer in Newark Penn Station is credited with spotting a man wanted for tying a teen girl up and putting her in a closet last month in a violent Montclair home invasion, authorities said Monday.
Police Officer Bryan Richards was on patrol Monday, Nov. 9, when he recognized Newark's Anthony L. Harper, who was in Newark Penn Station, NJ Transit officials said. The officer recognized Harper's face from bulletin issued by the Montclair police, NJ Transit officials said.
Harper, 30, had been wanted for breaking into a Hillside Avenue apartment through an unlocked window and demanding money from a 17-year-old girl shortly before 3:30 p.m. Oct. 19, police previously said. He then tied the teen up and put her in a closet, according to police.
Harper was arrested that day.
"I am proud of the New Jersey Transit Police officers who identified and captured this suspect accused of terrorizing a young woman whose safety was violated in her own home," said SVP, Chief of New Jersey Transit Police and Office of Emergency Management Christopher Trucillo.
"Officer Richards was alert and aware of his surroundings, trusted his gut and detained a criminal who was wanted by local officials for weeks.”
In July, Richards was part of a team of officers that made international headlines after saving the life of a newborn baby in Newark Penn Station. His efforts to perform CPR in the Newark Penn Station bathroom and in a patrol car on the way to the hospital were caught on video from his body worn camera.
Other New Jersey Transit Police patrolling Newark Penn Station and aided in the arrest include; Officer Brian Rea, Officer Michael Sczesny, Officer Alex Penalva, Lt. John Hennessy and Sgt. Andrew D’Aloia.
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