NJT police officer arrests man for Montclair home invasion

NEWARK, NJ — A keen-eyed NJ Transit police officer on patrol in Newark Penn Station last week spotted and arrested a suspect wanted for a home-invasion robbery and attempted murder of a 17-year-old girl in Montclair. Officer Bryan Richards recognized the suspect walking in Newark Penn Station on Nov. 9 after a bulletin was issued by Montclair police and placed the suspect under arrest, according to a Nov. 16 press release.

“I am proud of the NJ Transit police officers who identified and captured this suspect accused of terrorizing a young woman whose safety was violated in her own home,” NJ Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo said. “Officer Richards was alert and aware of his surroundings, trusted his gut and detained a criminal who was wanted by local officials for weeks.”

Anthony Harper, 30, of Newark, is suspected of breaking into an apartment in Montclair on Oct. 19; he is accused of beating and choking a 17-year-old girl to unconsciousness, tying her up and putting her in a closet.

Other New Jersey Transit police patrolling Newark Penn Station who aided in the arrest include Officer Brian Rea, Officer Michael Sczesny, Officer Alex Penalva, Lt. John Hennessy and Sgt. Andrew D’Aloia.

In July, Richards was part of a team of officers that made international headlines after saving the life of a newborn baby in Newark Penn Station. His efforts to perform CPR in the Newark Penn Station bathroom and in a patrol car on the way to the hospital were caught on video from his body-worn camera.

The charges against Harper are merely accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless or until found guilty in a court of law.