Two Elizabeth men charged with robbery, weapons offenses in Linden

LINDEN — On Saturday at 6:50 a.m. Police Officer Antonio Lacosta was beginning his day shift patrol when he was approached by a 30-year-old man from Jersey City who told the officer he was just robbed by two men allegedly in a silver Audi.

The officer observed an Audi driving away from the area of Brook St. and Knopf St. and began to chase it. While behind the Audi, the officer observed a blue plastic bag being tossed out of the window of the vehicle.

The Audi was subsequently stopped, and with the assistance of additional officers, the driver, Johnny Arvelo Jr., 27, and the passenger, Jimmy L. Rodriguez, 26, both of Elizabeth, were ordered out of the vehicle at gunpoint.

The victim then told officers that he allegedly met two men in Elizabeth and asked them for a ride home to Jersey City. Instead, the duo drove him to Linden, where they pulled the vehicle over and allegedly demanded the victim’s money. When the victim refused to hand it over, he was struck in the head with a metal object, which he believed to be a gun.

Officers went to retrieve the blue plastic bag, which was found laying in the street. It contained a .22 caliber revolver with one round in the chamber. The victim identified the duo, and both were arrested and charged with robbery, aggravated assault, and weapons offenses.

Arvelo later damaged the sprinkler system in the police cellblock and caused a flood. He was additionally charged with criminal mischief and was being held on $225,000 bail. Rodriguez was being held on $100,000 bail and was found to have contempt warrants out of Elizabeth, Bayonne, and Seaside Heights.

Both have a court date set for March 14. The victim was offered medical attention by the Linden Fire Department Ambulance but declined.