(UPDATE) NJ Police report arrest of suspect being tracked by NYPD

Jason Commisso, pictured here, is wanted in connection to a strong of assaults on Asian-Americans in East Harlem.

UPDATE: NJ State police report that they, in collaboration with the NYPD, apprehended a suspect last night. Melissa Mark-Viverito said the person in custody is Jason Commisso, identified yesterday as a suspect in the assaults targeting Asian-Americans in East Harlem.

According to New Jersey State Police, they were working with New York authorities to track a suspect in the string of assaults targeting Asian-Americans in East Harlem.

Last night, NJ state troopers located the suspect on a Greyhound bus on the New Jersey Turnpike heading southbound in Gloucester. They stopped the bus and took the suspect into custody without incident.

He was recently moved from Morristown station to Gloucenster County Jail, where he was charged by the NJ police with being a fugitive from justice and is “sitting in jail for a bit until the extradition process [to take him to the NYPD] works its way out,” NJ state police said.

Yesterday the NYPD identified Jason Commisso, 34, as a suspect in those assaults. They have not confirmed that he is the individual currently in custody.

However, Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, who has been active in responding to these assaults, released a statement “in response to the arrest of Jason Commisso.”

“Today we are all breathing a sigh of relief as the suspect behind eight vicious muggings of Asian American East Harlem residents has finally been apprehended by police,” Mark-Viverito said.

UPDATE: The person was apprehended in New Jersey, the NYPD said.

NY1 reported he was on a Greyhound bus bound for North Carolina, found by state troopers from the New Jersey state police, and that he also had a bus ticket for Texas. The NYPD would not confirm.

NY1 also reported the person in custody is the suspect police identified yesterday.

UPDATE: The NYPD has someone in custody in relation to the Upper East Side attacks on Asian-Americans.

The NYPD said they could not confirm if the person in custody was the suspect identified yesterday, as no official arrest had been made.

Confirmation is pending on a line-up identification.


Metro’s original story is below.

Following a spate of violent muggings in East Harlem that appeared to target Asian-Americans, the NYPD beefed up personnel in the 23rd precinct, as Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito rallied the community to “remain vigilant until [the attacker] is apprehended.”

Just before a press conference Saturday morning, the councilwoman was informed of an eighth attack.

“It was deeply disturbing to hear of an eighth mugging just this morning,” Mark-Viverito told the crowd. “I thank the 23rd Precinct for springing into action to find the attack and also to educate the community on taking precautions.”

Kelly assigned additional Impact officers to the area, to join personnel already assigned from the Hate Crime Task Force, Manhattan North Task Force, Manhattan North Anti-Crime, Manhattan North Grand Larceny Unit, the 23rd Precinct Detectives Squad and plainclothes officers.

Impact officers are recent academy graduates, stationed in the busiest precincts on foot.

Officers fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese were also sent out to conduct community outreach.

Police identified 34-year-old Jason Commisso as a suspect yesterday. He was caught on video at a McDonalds at 1872 3rd Avenue, using a credit card stolen from one of the victims on January 24, approximately 40 minutes after the attack.

Commisso is described as a Hispanic male, 6-foot-1 and 200 lbs, with brown hair and hazel eyes. His last known address was in Queens.

The police are asking that anyone with information about Commisso call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.

The assaults

In all the incidents the suspect followed the victims into their elevators, violently attacked them, and robbed them of their phones, purses or wallets.

January 17, 8 a.m.  44-year-old female injured on the left side of her face.
 
January 19, 11:11 a.m. 46-year-old female hit on the left side of her face.
 
January 21, 2:27 p.m. 64-year-old male, punched numerous times, sustained a broken nose and a swollen lip.

January 23, 6:00 a.m. 46-year-old male, punched in the face several times.
 
January 23, 8:30 a.m. 62-year-old male, punched in the face.
 
January 24, 8:30 a.m. 47-year-old female, punched repeatedly.

January 24, 7 p.m. 27-year-old female, received lacerations to her face and nose.

January 26, 10:20 a.m. 57-year-old male, broken nose.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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