Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on March 3, 2021, Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez, 27, of Jackson, a fugitive from justice relative to a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred in Jackson Township on December 24, 2020, surrendered himself to United States Customs and Border Patrol Protection Agents in Laredo, Texas. Alcazar-Sanchez is presently lodged in the Webb County Detention Center in Laredo, Texas, where he must quarantine for seven to ten days due to COVID-19 restrictions prior to his anticipated extradition to Ocean County. When Alcazar-Sanchez is returned to Ocean County, he will be lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.
On December 24, 2020, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Officers of the Jackson Township Police Department were summoned to the area of Cedar Swap Road and I-195 for a report of a motor vehicle crash with serious injuries. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Jackson Township Police Department revealed that a 2010 Mercedes Benz, driven by Norman Shtab, 83, of Howell Township, was exiting I-195 at Exit 21. His wife, Phyllis Shtab, 81, also of Howell, was a passenger in the vehicle. As Mr. Shtab was attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Cedar Swap Road, his vehicle collided with a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado.
Mr. and Mrs. Shtab were transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune Township following the crash. Mr. Shtab was treated for his injuries and later released. On December 26, 2020, Mrs. Shtab succumbed to the injuries she sustained as a result of the crash, and was pronounced deceased at Jersey Shore Medical Center on that date.
The passenger in the Silverado, Jose Misael Pementel-Mendoza, 30, of Wrightstown, was likewise transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center following the crash; he was treated for his injuries and released. The driver of the Chevrolet Silverado – identified through continuing investigation as Alcazar-Sanchez – fled the scene on foot. Further investigation revealed that Alcazar-Sanchez then fled the United States and traveled to Mexico.
On December 30, 2020, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Alcazar-Sanchez charging him with Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1, as well as Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended Driver’s License while being involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-22a.
Additionally, during the course of this investigation, Alcazar-Sanchez’s girlfriend, Reyna Mendez, 27, of Jackson, was questioned by law enforcement in connection with this matter. It was determined that Mendez provided false information to Detectives during the course of her questioning; as a consequence, she was charged with Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3a(7). Mendez was charged on a summons and released pending a future court date.
“I am extremely grateful for the cooperative efforts of our law enforcement partners at the local, county, state, and federal levels in connection with this very thorough and intensive investigation. Knowing full well that he was being relentlessly pursued by multiple law enforcement agencies for more than two months, Alcazar-Sanchez really had no alternative but to surrender himself to the authorities. Soon, he will be returned to Ocean County where he will face justice,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Jackson Township Police Department, Jackson Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Jackson Township Police Department Special Emergency Response Team, Brick Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Field Services Unit/Warrants, United States Customs and Border Protection, Laredo Texas Police Department, and the United States Marshals Service, for their collaborative efforts and assistance relative to this investigation ultimately leading to Alcazar-Sanchez being taken into custody, and his projected return to Ocean County to answer for these very serious charges.
The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.