A Westfield man has been arrested and charged with holding a woman against her will for hours at an auto shop in Roselle Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, during which time he allegedly beat, stabbed, and attempted to sexually assault her, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park and Roselle Police Chief Gerard Orlando announced Thursday.
Ricky Suepoi, 52, of Livingston Street in Westfield is charged with first-degree kidnapping, two counts of second-degree attempted sexual assault, two counts of second-degree aggravated assault, two counts of third-degree making terroristic threats, a fourth-degree charge of possession of an imitation firearm, and three drug offenses.
It was shortly before 2:45 a.m. on Wednesday when Roselle Police Department officers rushed to Shelbourne Motorsports on the 100 block of East 1st Avenue in Roselle to encounter sounds of a woman screaming inside the building, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor David Hummel of the Office’s Special Victims Unit. Moments later, the victim was located while Suepoi was arrested without incident, Hummel said.
An investigation determined that the 23-year-old victim had arrived at the auto shop sometime around 8 p.m. Tuesday to inquire about getting a vehicle repaired when she engaged in a conversation with Suepoi, a former acquaintance. At around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Suepoi allegedly struck her several times, then brandished what appeared to be a working firearm and ordered her to perform a sexual act on him.
During the next several hours Suepoi allegedly assaulted the victim several additional times and continued to attempt to force her into performing a sexual act on him before the woman managed to contact police from the body shop’s bathroom using her cell phone. The call was interrupted when Suepoi allegedly forced his way into the room and allegedly began stabbing her with a screwdriver. Police arrived moments later, after which she was transported to Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth for treatment of numerous injuries.
A subsequent search of the auto body shop, performed with assistance from the Union County Sheriff’s Office, revealed an imitation firearm and quantities of the designer drug known as “Molly,” ecstasy, and marijuana.
Suepoi remained lodged in Union County Jail Thursday morning, with bail having been set at $500,000 by state Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega. A first appearance in the case has been scheduled for next week. First-degree crimes typically carry a penalty of 10 to 20 years in state prison, while second-degree crimes typically result in sentences of 5 to 10 years.
Anyone with additional information about the activities of Mr. Suepoi is being urged to contact Roselle Police Department Detective Woody Lespinasse at 908-245-9200.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.