Cliffwood Man Indicted on Carjacking, Robbery Charges; 2 from U.B. face drug charges


A CLIFFWOOD MAN, who allegedly held up a grocery store and then fled in a stolen car, was indicted on carjacking and armed robbery charges, according to documents released by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

On June 29, Aberdeen police responded to a report of a robbery in progress at the A&P supermarket on Route 35 in Cliffwood Beach.

Once there, they learned that a man — later identified as Donnell Freeman, 39 — had pushed a store employee and stolen a cash register drawer. He fled the store and, in the parking lot, approached a vehicle, forced the driver out and took off headed east on Cliffwood Avenue, according to police.

As officers gave chase, they were alerted that a car had crashed into a retaining wall near South Concourse and Beachwood Way. Residents observed Freeman limping away from the car with the cash drawer, police said.

Freeman was arrested and taken to Bayshore Community Hospital, where was treated for a leg injury, police said.

In addition to robbery and carjacking, police also charged him at the time with driving while intoxicated, driving with a suspended driver’s license, and other motor vehicle offenses.

According to the indictment, which was handed up last week, Freeman had a “simulated deadly weapon” when he committed the theft.

Two people from Union Beach were  are facing unrelated drug charges, according the the prosecutor.

Anthony C. Cocuzza, 23, was indicted with one count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, for allegedly being caught with heroin on July 12 in Middletown.

And on Dec. 3, Ocean Township police charged Nicole A. Debonis, 36 with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and drug paraphernalia, according to arrest reports provided by the prosecutor’s office.

Debonis allegedly had one deck of heroin stamped with “Finlandia” in blue ink, a spoon with white residue on it and small rubber bands that police claimed were used to package the heroin.