ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A fugitive task force arrested the third suspect Friday afternoon in the fatal carjacking of a Middlesex County man from an Atlantic City casino parking garage.
Raheem Simmons, 18, of Camden, was arrested at an apartment complex in his hometown shortly before 4 p.m. without incident.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Theodore Housel again thanked the public for an unusual level of help in identifying and locating the suspects.
“This was a very swift-moving and arduous investigation, and it would not have been possible without the assistance of citizens, people, civilians coming forward and letting us know information, whether it was the person from Bally’s parking garage who saw them at 4 a.m., to people in Camden who let us know who the individuals were on the videotapes,” Housel said. “I am so thrilled that the three individuals who participated in the carjacking and murder are behind bars.”
Simmons’ arrest came hours after a second suspect, 20-year-old Eric Darden, was ordered held on $1 million bail during a brief appearance in state Superior Court in Mays Landing. He had surrendered to Haddon Heights police on Thursday with his lawyer.
Another 20-year-old from Camden, Phillip Byrd, was arrested Tuesday evening.
All three are charged with murder, carjacking and other offenses stemming from Sunday’s shooting death of 28-year-old Sunil Rattu of Old Bridge, and the of wounding 24-year-old Radha Ghetia of Sayreville. The victims were robbed of a small amount of cash in the Trump Taj Mahal parking garage, then forced into their
vehicle and made to drive to a nearby alley, where both were shot.
Rattu died from two gunshot wounds to the head. Ghetia was shot in the upper body but survived.
Authorities say the suspects stalked two other casinos—Bally’s Atlantic City and ACH, the casino formerly known as the Atlantic City Hilton—looking for potential victims before attacking the couple at the Taj Mahal around 8 a.m. Sunday. A Bally’s employee told authorities the three approached him, leading him to get in his car and quickly drive away before anything could happen.
The fatal carjacking was the second in little over a year that originated in the Taj Mahal parking garage. In May 2010, Martin Caballero of North Bergen was carjacked after dropping off his family at the casino’s main entrance and leaving to park the car.
He was carjacked, forced to drive from the garage and stabbed elsewhere. A man and a woman are awaiting trial in that killing.
Simmons is expected to make an initial court appearance on Monday. He was being held on an initial bail of $1 million cash, the same as the other two suspects.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)