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Manhunt continues, arrest wasn’t of fugitive

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

UPDATE: A task force of U.S. marshals from New York found Jose Rodriguez in Uncasville, near the Mohegan Sun casino, and took him into custody without incident — roughly 120 miles from the Route 4 hotel parking lot where he jumped behind the wheel of an unmarked city police vehicle, hands cuffed behind his back, and drove off by steering with his knees, according to reports from the NYPD.

Authorities late Tuesday night mistakenly believed they had caught a fugitive who gave the NYPD the slip earlier in the day, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

An arrest following a chase on the Garden State Parkway that ended at a toll plaza in Egg Harbor Township tonight was of someone else, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the search said.

A police dispatch that went out across the New Jersey State Police network Wednesday night said officers grabbed Jose Rodriguez at the Ocean County toll plaza “after a vehicle pursuit and a search effort that took most of the day.”

However, that arrest apparently was of another man wanted in another case, believed to be a parental abduction that triggered an Amber Alert and a statewide search.

Rodriguez, 27, was still at large as of midnight. U.S. Marshals were still at Fort Lee Police headquarters, working the case.

Rodriguez was handcuffed, in leg irons and without shoes when he bolted from New York City Police Department detectives who, along with U.S. marshals, had followed him from the Bronx to the Holiday on Route 4 in Fort Lee Wednesday afternoon.

Rodriguez, in separate mugshots

After getting behind the wheel of an unmarked NYPD vehicle, hands behind his back, Rodriguez — aka “Flip” or “Flipper” —  drove off, steering with his knees.





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