MILLTOWN, NJ–An 18-year-old Rutgers student was charged with assault after local police sought the public's help in identifying the suspect in a strange case.
Cole Cadigan, who apparently played football for Wall Township High School, was caught on video allegedly throwing a large soda at an employee of the Taco Bell immediately after purchasing it at the store's drive-thru window.
"Please help us in identifying the coward who disrespected and hurt this young woman," the Milltown Police Department asked the public via its Nixle emergency alert system on March 8.
"After purchasing food items and a large drink, the driver of the newer Ford F-150 truck threw the drink into the face of the worker and then quickly drove off while laughing," read the unusual alert.
The message also noted that "it appears that a Rutgers University parking hang-tag is visible in the windshield."
An arrest was made the following day, but for some reason, the borough's police department refused to name the person who they had charged for another two days.
After backlash from the public, and a request for information under the state's Open Public Records Act (OPRA) filed by New Brunswick Today, the department released Cadigan's name.
"Wednesday March 9, the suspect in this case was charged with simple assault and released," read the follow-up message to the community, again sent via Nixle. "The suspect was identified as, Cole Cadigan, 18 yrs old, from the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University."
The Borough of Milltown still has not responded to New Brunswick Today's request for information about the crime under the OPRA law.
According to the statute, the information requested must be provided "within 24 hours or as soon as practicable."
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate and a community organizer, and was an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick in 2018.