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DV Pilot Police & Fire

NJ Man, 61, Held Lost Dirt Bike Riders Hostage In Woods Behind His Home, Authorities Say

Roger Stewart
Roger Stewart Photo Credit: Ocean County Jail

A pair of dirt bike riders trying to find their way out of a wooded area in Central Jersey were held hostage by a man with a loaded gun, who called police himself to report the situation, authorities said.

Roger Stewart, 61, of Jackson, told officers he saw the riders go into a wooded area near his home before following them in around 4:45 p.m. last Friday,  Sgt. Fred Meabe said.

The dirt bike riders told officers they were trying to find their way out of the woods when Stewart he pointed a firearm at them, threatened to call their parents and then tried forcing them to go with him, police said.

Stewart ultimately called police, who found him with a pocket-full rounds, the dirt bikers and a loaded 22 caliber rifle in a wooded area behind Werko Place, Meabe said.

It all began around 4:45 p.m., when Jackson police officers responded to 7 Nancy Court for reports of a hostage situation.

The officers searched the wooded area behind the home before being directed to the actual location of the incident in the woods of Werko Place, Meabe said.

Dispatch told officers the male subject -- later identified as Stewart -- was on the phone with them and was going to place his hands in the air as they arrived. That's when the officers found a Stewart standing in the woods with his phone up to his ear, police said.

Police noticed the loaded rifle approximately 25 feet from where he was standing, and later found multiple rounds inside the man's pocket, Meabe said.

The two dirt bike riders -- whose ages were not released -- said they were trying to find their way out of the woods when Stewart pointed a firearm at them several times, preventing them from leaving, Meabe said.

Stewart directed the dirt bike riders to go with him and, when one of the victims refused, the suspect pressed the muzzle of the firearm into his stomach with his finger on the trigger as a scare tactic, police said.

Stewart then said he would be contacting both victims' parents before calling the police himself, Meabe said.

Online records show the incident occurred in a wooded area near 61-year-old Stewart's home.

Stewart told officers he did not point his rifle at the alleged victims, rather that he had the rifle under his arm when he approached them, authorities said.

Stewart was arrested and charged with possession of weapons for unlawful purpose and aggravated assault, Meabe said.

He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail as a result of his charges.

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