the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Hillsdale NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrests of BRYAN ORTIGOZA (DOB: 01/25/1999; single; unemployed) of 152 Milton Avenue, Nutley, NJ; ALEX JUAREZ (DOB: 10/18/1998; single; unemployed) of 705 Centre Street, Nutley, NJ; and a 17-year-old JUVENILE from Nutley, NJ. The arrests are the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, the Hillsdale Police Department under the direction of Chief Robert Francaviglia, and the Nutley Police Department (Essex County) under the direction of Chief Thomas Strumolo.
On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, the Hillsdale Police Department received a 911 call from a resident of Catherine Court reporting an injured male lying in the roadway. The investigation revealed that the victim had been physically assaulted by several actors then dragged over 250 yards by their vehicle from the area of Beechwood Drive in Hillsdale. The victim was subsequently thrown from the vehicle in the cul-de-sac of Catherine Court. The vehicle and actors then fled the scene. The victim suffered severe, life-threatening injuries, including a broken neck and a cerebral hemorrhage. The victim was transferred to an area hospital via helicopter in critical condition, where he remains.
On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, law enforcement officials arrested Bryan ORTIGOZA after searching his residence and a vehicle used by him during the assault.
On Friday, February 16, 2018, law enforcement officials arrested the 17-year-old JUVENILE after conducting a search of his residence.
On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, law enforcement officials searched Alex JUAREZ’S residence. He was later located and taken into police custody.
As a result of the investigation, Bryan ORTIGOZA, Alex JUAREZ, and a 17 year-old JUVENILE were identified as actors who assaulted the victim. Ortigoza and Juarez were each charged with one count of Attempted Murder, N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(2), a crime of the 1st degree, and one count of Aggravated Assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1), a crime of the 2nd degree. The JUVENILE was charged with Juvenile Delinquency complaints based on conduct which would also constitute attempted murder and aggravated assault if he were an adult. Bryan ORTIGOZA and Alex JUAREZ were remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a detention hearing on February 26, 2018 at 9:00 A.M. The 17-year-old JUVENILE was remanded to the Bergen County Juvenile Detention Center pending a detention hearing on March 6, 2018 at 9:00 AM.
Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Calo states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. He would also like to thank the Hillsdale Police Department, the Westwood Police Department, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nutley Police Department for their assistance with this investigation.