A suspect fleeing police broke into a Franklin Lakes woman’s home, knocked her down and tried to hide in her chimney before he was captured, authorities said. Then he inexplicably smiled for his mugshot.
Justin M. Gonzalez, 24, hopped out of a parked car and took off on foot as Oakland police responded to a suspicious person’s report on Brook Hollow Road before dawn last Friday Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said.
Gonzalez, of the Hudson Valley, NY town of Livingston Manor, got away, but not for long, the prosecutor said.
Several hours later, Franklin Lakes and Oakland police responded to a call of a suspicious man riding a bicycle in the area of Crystal Lake Terrace.
As they searched for him, the terrified woman came running from her home, saying that an intruder had broken in and knocked her down.
He was still inside, she said.
Officers from both towns searched the home, found Gonzalez hiding in the fireplace and took him into custody without further incident, Musella said.
Gonzalez was first taken to New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus for a psychological evaluation before being transferred to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained held Thursday after a judge denied his release.
He’s charged with kidnapping, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, hindering, receiving stolen property and obstruction.
“We are committed to ensuring that Bergen County is safe for everyone,” Musella said. “We will aggressively investigate and prosecute all robbery- and burglary-related crimes that occur in our county.”
Oddly, he wasn't the only defendant booked into the jail to smile for his mugshot. So did an Englewood man accused of shooting another:
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