MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Dequan Lewis, 24, of Vauxhall, and Isaiah Gavin, 18, of Elizabeth, were apprehended by police on Jan. 10 after Maplewood patrol officers responded to 200 Boyden Ave., Avalon Bay Apartments, on the report of a disturbance of a possible robbery or shooting.
According to police, Lewis and Gavin used a crowbar to enter a residence, prying open the back door. “It is very clear now that this was a targeted incident,” police said in a statement.
A witness on scene provided officers with information regarding two suspects, dressed in dark clothing, who had fled the area northbound on Boyden Avenue. Officers immediately located Lewis and Gavin in the area, and took them into custody without incident. Police determined that Lewis and Gavin had fled the scene prior to police arriving.
Police determined that the victim drove himself to the hospital to obtain treatment for a minor injury. At the hospital, the victim told detectives that two men had entered his home wearing masks, assaulted him and ransacked his apartment. The victim then ran out of the apartment to seek help, at which time he entered his vehicle and drove to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released.
While there was no evidence that a shooting occurred or that a weapon had been fired, police did find a stolen handgun in the area near the location where a suspect was apprehended. The handgun recovered was a 9mm Beretta stolen out of Newport News, Va.
Lewis and Gavin were each charged with burglary, robbery, receiving stolen property, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and conspiracy to commit robbery.
At the time of the incident, due to the nature of the information received, detectives notified Seth Boyden School staff and advised them to place the school in a shelter in place. The school was advised to resume normal activities a short time later when it was determined to be safe. At this time there is no danger to the public and the investigation is still ongoing, police said.
The police department is working with management and residents of Avalon Bay to ensure their safety and to address their concerns.
According to police, this remains an active investigation, as there are many questions still left unanswered. Detectives continue to canvass the area for witnesses and video footage in order to establish a timeline of events. Any persons with information are asked to call the Detective Bureau at 973-761-7920; callers can choose to be anonymous.
These are merely accusations; all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until they are found guilty or enter a guilty plea in a court of law.