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Civilians help stop motorist who jumped from moving car on Turnpike to molest passenger

Photo Credit: Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Passersby helped police stop a motorist from molesting a passenger on a New Jersey Turnpike on-ramp outside the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City after both jumped out of his moving car, authorities said today.

The 30-year-old woman told Port Authority police she accepted the offer of a ride to the Newport Center Mall around 10 a.m. yesterday because she knew 35-year-old Kevin A. Cherry from their Jersey City neighborhood.

Suddenly, she said, he  “made remarks to her of a sexual nature and began grabbing her,” the authority’s Joseph Pentangelo said.

Cherry then “jumped out of his moving vehicle to pursue the victim,” while the driverless car continued rolling down the ramp near 12th Street and Jersey Avenue with a third occupant in the back seat, Pentangelo said.

That person maneuvered the car to a stop as Cherry caught up to the victim, pinned her against a concrete barrier and began “tearing at her clothes and touching her inappropriately,” he said.

Passing motorists called authority police.

One of them, a civilian Port Authority radio repairman reporting on a two-way radio from his personal vehicle when Cherry jumped on the hood and punched the windshield, shattering it, Pentangelo said. He then took off on foot down the ramp on 12th Street toward a nearby gas station.

Police and witnesses chased him before cornering Cherry in a convenience store at the Exxon/BP gas station, Pentangelo said.

He is charged with aggravated assault, attempted criminal sexual contact, resisting arrest, driving while suspended, criminal mischief and bail jumping (He had a warrant out of Lyndhurst for criminal mischief to an auto, Pentangelo said).

He was being held on $35,000 bail.

MUGSHOT: Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD

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