Cops: Social media shares helped catch man who robbed, assaulted teen boys
Manchester Police say they've arrested the person who robbed and assaulted middle school students at their bus stops on Wednesday.
Police broadly distributed a sketch and surveillance photo of a suspect this week — and said that effort paid off, as a resident helped identify the person seen as Sage Kenny, 18, from the Pine Acres Manor section of Manchester Township.
The tipster contacted Manchester Police at about 9 p.m. Thursday night, police announced late Friday afternoon.
"Detectives worked through the night to develop the case to the point where probable cause was established for Kenny’s arrest as well as a search warrant for his residence," police wrote in the announcement.
Officers from the Manchester Township Police Patrol and Detective Bureaus executed a search warrant on the morning of March 4 at Kenny’s residence, where they found a stolen cell phone and the clothing he was seen wearing during the incidents, police said. Kenny was arrested at the residence and charged with robbery, theft, attempted theft, and simple assault, police said.
He was transported to the Ocean County Jail where he is being held in lieu of $75,000 bail, with no 10 percent option, police said.
Alleged theft, assault
According to Manchester Police, on Wednesday they were told a man had approached a 14-year-old middle-school student who was waiting for his school bus. The teen was alone at the time of the incident, police said.
He told officers he’d been at his bus stop near Cumberland Boulevard when a man approached him on a bicycle and asked to use his cell phone. The student obliged, “after which the suspect told him that he was going to take the cell phone and that if he had a problem with it, that he was going to get punched in the face,” police said in a news release.
The teen didn’t offer up any resistance, police said. The man rode away on what was described as a purple colored mountain bike, according to police.
Soon after, someone matching the man’s description approached another middle-school teen at a bus stop in the near of Middlesex Street, police said. The man approached the teen, and asked to use his cell phone — but the second teen refused, police said.
“When the student declined, the suspect struck him several times with a closed fist,” police said. “After doing so, the suspect road away on what was described as a purple colored mountain bike similar to what was described in first incident.”
The second student was uninjured, and did not report the incident until he arrived at school, police said.
“Our detectives worked around the clock on this case as it involved the safety of the community, specifically school-aged children. Thanks to the continued cooperation from the community, our Officers were able to quickly identify and apprehend this suspect,” Chief Lisa Parker said in an announcement Friday.