Construction worker helps capture violent ex-con in Edgewater police assault, authorities say

A fugitive ex-con assaulted two Edgewater police officers before a good Samaritan helped capture him, authorities said.

Jason Westlee, 34, of East Orange was loading stolen goods from the Old Navy in the Edgewater Commons mall into a UHaul truck with a female companion from Brooklyn when police arrived last Wednesday, Chief Donald Martin said.

As they questioned the couple, Westlee pushed one of the officers and ran towards a building under construction, Martin said.

Westlee kicked his pursuers, injuring one, before being subdued with the help of the construction worker, the chief said.

A Brooklyn native, Westlee has a criminal record dating back to age 18, mostly for theft and attempted theft, for which records show he served time in prison.

Police have charged him with two counts of aggravated assault on police, resisting arrest, criminal mischief, receiving possession and shoplifting. Westless was sent to Bergen County Jail and remained there on Tuesday after a judge ordered that he remain in custody.

His partner, Kiara Gutierrez, 30, of Brooklyn has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and released pending a hearing, the chief said.

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Alice F. Ponder