A Ewing Township teenager was arrested minutes after he allegedly threatened a Lawrence Township couple with a pellet gun Tuesday evening (July 10), Lawrence Township police announced yesterday.
The 15-year-old Ewing boy, whose name was not disclosed because he is a juvenile, was charged with making terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, according to Lt. Mark Ubry, a Lawrence Township police spokesman.
The boy was lodged in the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center in North Brunswick which, following the closure within the last year of Mercer County’s own youth detention center, is where juvenile prisoners from Mercer County municipalities are now taken.
Ubry said the alleged encounter between the 15-year-old and the couple took place shortly before 8:10 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Princeton Avenue and Brunswick Circle Extension.
The couple – a 20-year-old man and his 19-year-old wife – first encountered the boy at the intersection of Princeton Avenue and Spruce Street. Ubry said the boy was riding a bicycle northbound along Princeton Avenue as the couple, traveling in a vehicle being driven by the wife, turned right from Spruce Street to also go north on Princeton Avenue.
For a reason not yet clear to police, the boy allegedly became angry and followed the couple's vehicle, Ubry said.
As the couple’s auto came to a halt for a stop sign at the intersection of Princeton Avenue and Brunswick Circle Extension, the 15-year-old allegedly pedaled up alongside the passenger’s side of their vehicle on his bike, Ubry said.
The 15-year-old, reaching into a bag he had with him, then allegedly pulled out a handgun which the couple believed was real, Ubry said. He said the boy never pointed the weapon at the couple, but allegedly told them he was going to kill them.
The couple sped away and called police. Within minutes, the 15-year-old suspect was located and taken into custody, Ubry said, noting that the weapon – an Airsoft pellet gun – was in the boy’s possession at the time of his arrest.
Ubry said the 15-year-old suspect and the couple are apparently strangers and the motive for the boy’s alleged actions remains under investigation by Officer Daniel Gladney and Detective James Smith.
Witnesses to the incident are asked to call police at (609) 896-1111.