A suspected drug dealer who ran from Toms River police last week ended up in the Ocean County Jail after jumping in the river near Huddy Park.
The incident began as Toms River Police units were conducting a surveillance operation in the area of the Red Roof Inn, now known as the TP Hotel, located on West Water Street near downtown Toms River, said police spokesman Ralph Stocco.
The officers observed what appeared to be a drug transaction take place in a silver Ford Focus, so they conducted a motor vehicle stop approximately one block away, he said. During the investigation, according to Stocco, a passenger, Victor Garcia, 28 of Dorchester Drive in Lakewood fled on foot by jumping over a cement wall. Patrolman Travis Seaman and Patrolman David Lazaro gave chase towards Huddy Park at the corner of Main Street and Water Street, where they caught up to him – but as they made attempts to apprehend him, Garcia jumped into the river and began to swim east, Stocco said.
Sgt. Ron Sermarini then arrived and made contact with a boat owner who was passing by.
"The helpful citizen allowed the officers to board his vessel," said Stocco. "They approached Mr. Garcia, and once he was too tired to swim anymore, he surrendered and they pulled him onto the boat and arrested him."
Back at the scene of the motor vehicle stop, Shaquille Cannon, 20, of Lakewood, and Giana Raheb, 22 of Toms River were both placed under arrest. Cannon was charged with possession of 40 bags of heroin and intending to distribute it. Raheb was charged with possession of hypodermic syringes and Garcia was charged with obstructing the administration of law.
Cannon remains in the Ocean County Jail on $20,000 bail, Stocco said. Raheb and Garcia were released on bail.