Monday, July 12, 2010

Lambertville Canal Creep Still at Large

By Charlie Sahner

Law enforcement officials continue to search for an unknown man that severely beat a Lambertville, N.J. woman 11 days ago as she jogged alongside the Delaware and Raritan Canal. She apparently fought back fiercely enough to send the attacker scurrying away down the towpath.

The July 1 attack took place just beyond Lambertville's border with West Amwell Township, and the motive remains unknown.

With police continuing to actively seek the assistance of the public and the suspect remaining at large, we asked the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's office whether the investigation was getting bogged down. Said spokesman Dan Hurley, "The investigation has not stalled. We continue to receive and track down numerous leads. The investigation remains active and being investigated on a daily basis.

"The New Jersey Park Police have stepped up patrols in the area," he added, "There is still considerable investigative work to complete and we continue to seek the assistance of the public as it is likely more than one person saw the suspect either prior to or after the crime."

Meanwhile, local towpath joggers seem to be taking extra precautions. Said one Lambertville woman, "I used to run early in the morning on the towpath, and I haven't been lately."

New Hope, P.A. Police Chief Mike Cummings confirmed that his department's increased foot patrols along the Delaware Canal towpath will continue indefinitely. While acknowledging that New Hope is fundamentally a "safe" town, Chief Cummings said the Department is staying vigilant and leaving no stone unturned in protecting the Borough's citizens. "Criminals don't have borders," he explained.

As if to underscore that point, Solebury Township, P.A. police on July 3 arrested Javier Aliel Lopez Marroquin, 26, of Hamilton, N.J., and charged him with indecent exposure and open lewdness.

Marroquin was observed exposing himself along the banks of the Delaware River near Route 32 and Aquetong Road at approximately 4:00 pm on July 3. Solebury Police had issued a warning just the day before that "
over the past week incidents involving indecent exposure on the Pennsylvania side of the Towpath" had occurred. At least one of those incidents may have taken place well north of the arrest area, past the Bridge at Rabbit Run on Route 32 in Solebury, according to sources.

Said Dan Hurley of the jogger investigation, "We respond
ed to the recent arrest on the PA side of the river and are looking at all past incidents looking for similarities. We have not ruled out anybody at this point in time as it relates to the potential suspects in this attack."

Readers with any information or tips on the jogger case can contact the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s office at 908-788-1129.

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