NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers cops, city police, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) have all been investigating Demetrius Lee, who has been charged with multiple crimes in the same area of the Hub City.
Lee, a 33-year-old man who lives in an apartment on Elizabeth Street in Newark, has been charged with trying to kill two members of the same family on different dates in August, at the same street corner.
Lee has been accused of shooting a young woman and an older man in New Brunswick’s Second Ward on August 22. But it’s not the first crime he’s facing charges for in that neighborhood, according to authorities.
On August 8, Lee was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated at about 1:49am at the corner of Handy Street and Throop Avenue, according to documents obtained from the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD).
Lee was released at about 3:12am that same day to an unknown person, and he allegedly proceeded to try to murder someone the following day, using his vehicle as a weapon four blocks away from the scene of the drunk driving arrest.
On August 9, at approximately 4:00am, 37-year-old city resident Tyesha Ross was struck by a gray Toyota allegedly driven by Lee, and she “spent two days in the hospital” according to a crash report filed days later.
According to the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) report, which was posted on the city website, Ross “was knocked unconscious and has no idea who brought her to the hospital.”
The crash report was not filed until August 11, two days after the hit-and-run. Ross, a Hamilton Street resident, told the police she was crossing Throop Avenue when she was struck.
The report, which did not identify a suspect, said that Ross’ injuries included: “pain in her left shoulder, a bruised calf, bruised back, a black eye, and a scrape on her forehead.”
Authorities say that they believe Lee “intentionally drove into and ran over” Ross, who they did not identify by name in their public statements.
Then, nearly two weeks later, the same corner was the scene of a shooting that left two people in critical condition, including Ross’ niece, according to a source with knowledge of the incidents.
Authorities still have not identified the victims of the shooting, only identified a 23-year-old city woman and a 43-year-old city man. Police did not say whether the hit-and-run and the shooting were related.
On September 1, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and NBPD Director Anthony Caputo announced the charges against Lee for the August 22 shooting: two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon.
“Detective Andrew Weiss of the New Brunswick Police Department and Detective Craig Marchak of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that Lee walked up to his victims… and opened fire,” reads the official MCPO statement.
New Brunswick Today obtained the statement despite all of our reporters being removed from the MCPO’s press list in February.
According to the September 1 statement, the woman who was shot was listed in “stable condition” while the male victim remained “listed as critical.”
Lee was apprehended by police on August 25, while he was sitting in a car parked on Chester Circle in New Brunswick, according to the MCPO statement.
“He subsequently was charged with possession of a handgun that was found in the car, possession of the weapon for an unlawful purpose, and receiving stolen property identified as the handgun,” reads the release, which added that “the weapon was not believed to be the one used in the August 22, 2016 double shooting.”
As a result of a prior conviction, Lee also was charged with a count of “certain persons not permitted to have a weapon.”
Lee is still being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick on a total of $400,000 bail for all of the charges against him.
Prosecutors are requiring anyone who wants to bail Lee out of jail to provide information about where the money came from. Someone has already attempted to bail him out, but prosecutors denied the request, according to the jail’s records department.
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, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.