A shopper making his way through a Woodbridge Center parking lot Saturday afternoon was suddenly punched in the face and robbed while he was on the ground, Woodbridge police said.
Demetri R. Nieves, 18, of South Amboy was seen allegedly assaulting the victim by a Woodbridge police officer who was patrolling the parking area near Sears around 1:50 pm on September 22. The patrolman said he saw Nieves allegedly attack the shopper by punching him in the face, then bend over him and remove money from the victim's pockets as the man lay stunned on the ground.
The officer gave chase as Nieves tried to escape by running through rows of parked cars. He was eventually caught and booked on charges of robbery, aggravated assault, and endangering an injured victim.
The man who was punched refused medical attention, police said.
Nieves was sent to the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick, where he is being held on $100,000 bail with no 10 percent option.