A teenage gunman who remained on the loose for more than a month after he and an accomplice robbed a couple of $700 at a South Hackensack motel was captured following a New Milford police stop, authorities said.
Police had been looking for Denys Ludizaca, 19, of Hackensack since last month’s predawn holdup at the Congress Inn on Route 46, South Hackensack Capt. Robert Chinchar said Monday.
The victims -- a 35-year-old man and 30-year-old woman -- apparently had been living there the previous few months when ex-con Alec Parker showed up at 5 a.m. the morning of Dec. 10, Chinchar said.
The man let Parker in, thinking something was wrong, the captain said.
Parker went outside and returned with Ludizaca, who was carrying a gun, he said.
Both men robbed the couple, then fled in a Honda Civic, Chinchar said.
Detective Sgt. James Donatello and Detective Brian Kropp interviewed witnesses, reviewed surveillance video and identified the getaway vehicle with help from their Hackensack police colleagues.
They also determined that Ludizaca was the driver, as well as the gunman, the captain said.
At 19, Ludizaca already has a growing criminal history.
Last March, he assaulted the owner of The River Edge Diner shortly after being released on burglary charges out of Teaneck and was captured by Hackensack police, authorities said.
Parker, meanwhile, has a criminal record that stretches back nearly his entire adult life, including arrests for aggravated assault on a police officer, robbery, weapons possession and making terroristic threats, records show.
Three years ago, he barricaded himself in a Hackensack garden apartment -- threatening to stab himself and begging to be shot by police -- before his mother helped coax him out. Last year, he fell four stories down an air shaft while trying to escape police after trying to climb into his ex-girlfriend's window.
South Hackensack police arrested Parker less than two weeks after the robbery at the Congress Inn. He’s remained held in the Bergen County Jail since then, charged with robbery, burglary and theft.
Ludizaca remained at large until Sunday night.
New Milford Police Officer Daniel O’Neill was monitoring traffic on New Bridge Road around 11:15 p.m. when he spotted the Civic, with tinted front windows, heading west on New Bridge Road.
O’Neill began following the vehicle, checked the registration and learned that it was wanted in connection with the South Hackensack motel robbery, Detective Lt. Kevin Van Saders said.
Officer Samuel Gerais joined O’Neill after he stopped the Honda on Hackensack Avenue in Hackensack.
In the back seat was Ludizaca.
He was ordered out along with the driver and other passengers, then suddenly bolted, Van Saders said.
A Bergen County Sheriff’s K-9 unit and Hackensack police helped search for Ludizaca, whom Gerais found hiding in a Dumpster, the lieutenant said.
New Milford police charged Ludizaca with obstruction, resisting arrest and possession of a small amount of pot.
They then turned him over to South Hackensack police, who charged Ludizaca with robbery, aggravated assault, weapons possession and burglary, among other offenses.
Ludizaca claimed he had COVID before admitting he didn’t after an officer said he’d have to be housed with other infected inmates. He was sent to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained in general population Monday.
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