Police arrest suspect in Lakewood kidnapping attempt after another criminal incident in Toms River

The teenage girl was able to break free and run home, and the suspect was arrested the next morning after a high-speed police chase

Haredi residents in Lakewood, New Jersey. Credit: Shtetl

Mar 26, 2024 1:00 PM


A New Jersey man, Quamel Benton, was arrested on Friday in connection with the attempted kidnapping of a Lakewood girl and other incidents, Asbury Park Press reported

On Thursday evening, a man attempted to pull a teenage girl into his vehicle in Lakewood, New Jersey,  according to the Ocean County prosecutor’s office. The incident occurred in Lakewood’s Forest Park Circle neighborhood, a heavily Haredi area. The girl was able to break free and run home unharmed.

Lakewood Shomrim, known officially as Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch, or LCSW, responded to the call and assisted the police in the search for the suspect.

Later that night, police in nearby Toms River responded to a call about a female victim who had been sexually assaulted. The suspect evaded the police by speeding away in his vehicle, but police were able to identify the man through the vehicle registration. Based on his description, police were able to connect the man to the Lakewood incident and to an aggravated assault that took place earlier that day in Willingboro.

The suspect was arrested on Friday afternoon after a high-speed police chase caused him to crash into a pole. After attempting to flee on foot, Benton was chased and caught.

Benton, a Farmingdale resident, was charged with attempted kidnapping, criminal sexual assault, and several other charges, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said.