ARREST IN SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE – ENGLEWOOD, NJ
On July 28, 2017, an 83-year-old female from Dumont was the victim of a sexual assault at approximately 5:30 AM. The attack occurred in the rear parking lot area of the Korean Community Church, located at 147 Tenafly Road in the City of Englewood. The woman was on the way to an early church service there when a Hispanic male, possibly in his 30’s, approximately 5’6” in height, grabbed and tackled her to the ground in a doorway. The attached videos obtained from area security cameras show portions of the attack. The male was wearing some type of backpack, drawstring backpack or shoulder strap backpack, light-colored pants, and dark shoes with light-colored soles. The male stopped the attack and calmly walked away when the victim was able to wave down a passing vehicle. The woman sustained minor physical injuries.
The investigating police agencies (Englewood City Police Department & Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office) made numerous positive contacts with residents and commuters that frequented the neighborhood where this assault occurred and some leads were developed. Numerous media outlets throughout the New Jersey/New York City areas broadcast the surveillance video that was recovered during the investigation.
Additionally, the Bergenfield-Englewood-Teaneck-Hackensack Crime Stoppers group offered up to a $1,000 cash reward for any information significantly aiding in the ongoing investigation. Citizens were urged to leave a tip on the website at bergencrimestoppers.org by calling the CrimeStoppers Hotline at 844-466-6789 or by calling the Englewood Police Department Detectives directly.
The case broke earlier last week when a phone tip came in with very specific information. That tip led case detectives from our Department and the Prosecutor’s office to 23-year-old Margarito Hernandez-Valladares, who was also known as Jose Ramirez Jr.
Based on the evidence gathered during the investigation, along with statements Hernandez-Valladares made to detectives, he was arrested at the Englewood Police Station. He was charged with 2nd degree Attempted Sexual Assault, 3rd degree Criminal Restraint and 4th degree Criminal Sexual Contact. He was remanded to the Bergen County Jail and held pending a detention hearing.
The way in which this case progressed was a classic example of how a community, with the help of Crime Stoppers, can work with their local law enforcement agencies in making their neighborhood a safer place to live.
The charges against Hernandez-Valladares will be referred to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for further disposition.