On Wednesday May 25, 2022 at 6:09 pm, multiple officers responded to a residence located on Olena Drive on the report that multiple suspects had forced entry into the victim’s home and assaulted his family.
Officers arrived at the residence and encountered a female resident pointing out 5 males standing inside the house and shouting to the officers that they had broken into the house and assaulted the family. The five male suspects were detained and taken into custody as the officers continued the investigation.
The investigation revealed that the suspects had forced entry to the front door of the house, causing damage to it in the process. They reportedly held down a male and female resident and took their phones from them to prevent them from calling the police. They then started changing the deadbolt and locks on the front door. The male resident was able to retrieve his phone from the suspects and then call for assistance.
The officers were assisted in the investigation from detectives from the agency’s Special Enforcement Unit and it was discovered that the residence was owned by a male who had leased it to a second male who then subsequently sub-leased to the residents who were currently living there. The male who owns the property reportedly hired a security company which is based in Brooklyn, NYC to evict the people who were living there without going through the eviction process. The five employees then responded to the location and forcibly made entry to the residence and detained the occupants while they began changing the locks on the doors.
Also, several hours prior to this incident, patrol officers had responded to the area on the report of a suspicious vehicle. At the time, the suspects identified themselves as employees of a security company waiting to meet a client for a job in the area. At that time after identifying them, officers had no legal reason to detain them further as they were not engaged in any illegal activity.
The suspects were all placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters where they were processed and complaints were prepared. They were identified as:
- Christopher Landau, age 26 of Brooklyn, NY.
- Robert Drozd, age 38 of Brooklyn, NY.
- Marco Balanzar-Hernandez, age 45 of Lakewood, NJ.
- Joseph Castano, age 22 of Brooklyn, NY.
- Cesar Saavedra-Luna, age 24 of Brooklyn, NY.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted and approved the second degree and other charges against all the arrestees who were charged with: robbery, burglary, criminal restraint, theft, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing and simple assault. All were then lodged in the Ocean County Jail.
The arrestee’s vehicles were seized pending the investigation which is still ongoing.
- The media and the public are reminded that any persons arrested or charged with any offenses or crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.