SOUTH BRUNSWICK — Thanks to a quick thinking victim who used Facetime to contact a relative while they were being assaulted in a local hotel, authorities were able to arrest the man believed to be responsible.

The South Brunswick Police Department reported the incident happened at 7:30 in the morning when the relative called to report the assault happening at the La Mirage Motor Inn on Route 1. Officer Craig Cleffi arrived shortly after the call and found the victim in the hotel's parking lot with cuts and swelling to the head and face.

The suspect, identified as 25-year-old Jaron Thomas of Somerset, was found in a nearby silver Toyota Corolla, and fled the scene after being confronted by Cleffi. Thomas drove south on Route 1 and was spotted by Officer William Beard who was driving north on the road. Beard pursued Thomas who pulled into the parking lot of Hotel Vincenza.

Police said Thomas then proceeded to park in the rear of the lot and provided a fake identity when confronted again by police. He was charged with aggravated assault, obstruction of justice, and hindering apprehension. He was taken to the Middlesex County Correction Center pending an initial court appearance.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment of facial injuries.

Chief Raymond Hayducka credited the victim's use of social media and the fast response of his officers with helping to bring the situation to a successful end. "A victim was saved from further harm, and a suspect captured because of the coordination of all those involved."

He added, "When seconds count use whatever tools you need to contact police for help. The relative, police dispatcher and officers did a great job getting the victim the needed help."

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or

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