Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department announces the arrest of Afamefuna Nwandu (33) of Mount Vernon, N.Y. for aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and shoplifting on December 29, 2019. On that date, at approximately 5:17 P.M., Fairfield officers were dispatched to the Target store on Route 46 East to assist asset protection officers who were attempting to detain a suspected shoplifter who was not being cooperative. Target security alleged that Nwandu attempted to push out a shopping cart with merchandise without paying for it. The merchandise was valued at $664.00.
As the first responding officer arrived, it is alleged that Nwandu then retreated back into the store and ran towards the rear of the building. He then exited through an emergency door. At this same time, Officer Michael Tilton was pulling up to that location and observed Nwandu. As the officer opened his door and attempted to exit his police car to confront Nwandu, it is alleged that the suspect pushed closed the car door on Officer Tilton’s leg. The officer was unsuccessful at apprehending the suspect who then fled on foot across Route 46 towards Two Bridges Road.
An extensive search for the suspect was conducted with the assistance of area police departments, the New Jersey State Police and even using the department’s drone but the suspect could not be found.
Fairfield detectives then conducted a follow-up investigation which resulted in the discovery of the suspect’s car in the parking lot of the store and ultimately in identifying the suspect as Nwandu. Using other investigative techniques, an additional search of the area was undertaken and led to Nwandu’s apprehension as he walked in the parking lot of the Willowbrook Mall. He was then taken into custody without further incident.
After being processed, Nwandu was transported to the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark pending a hearing in the Superior Court. The extent of the officer’s injuries was minimal.
(It should be noted that the charges against Nwandu are merely allegations and that he is presumed innocent until he either pleads guilty or is found guilty in a court of law)
Authorized by: Chief Anthony Manna
*Afamefuna Nwandu (33) of Mount Vernon, N.Y. for aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and shoplifting on December 29, 2019