Quaint Westfield, N.J., On Edge After Brutal Rape

Police Searching For 2 Suspects And A Minivan

WESTFIELD, N.J. (CBS 2) — The hunt is on for two men who sexually attacked a woman in New Jersey. Police said the victim was forced into a minivan then raped at knife point and robbed.

Westfield is as suburban as it gets. It’s a place where life seems safe and perfect.

But now, as CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reports, that sense of security has been rattled after police said a woman was sexually assaulted.

Investigators said they have DNA evidence and are trying to figure out if women in other communities have been targeted.

“I am just really shocked, never heard of crime in this area,” said resident Elizabeth Ruf.

In this quaint town women are on alert and police on patrol as the search continued Wednesday for two suspects, and have released a sketch of one of them. Police said they sexually assaulted a 20-year-old Cranford woman near popular Gumbert Park early Monday morning.

Meredith Bridge lives by the park and said she was out with her dog hours before the alleged attack.

“I was out walking the dog as I do every night and it does gives you a false sense of security it’s safe it’s Westfield. We live in the suburbs. There’s nothing wrong here,” Bridge said.

Police said the woman told them she was out walking on South Chestnut Street when a man grabbed her at knifepoint and dragged her into a minivan parked on the street. That’s where she said she was sexually assaulted by the suspect and another man inside the minivan.

“She struck the second person and was able to strike the actor and escape from the vehicle and run from the car,” Westfield Police Capt. David Wayman said.

Police said the suspects, including one in his 40s, also stole $450 from the victim. In a town where most women wouldn’t think twice about walking alone in the dark, now there seems to be a sense of it’s not safe anywhere.

Not even with a dog.

“My husband won’t let me walk the dog again at night. He said you will never do that again,” Bridge said.

“Maybe we should put more policemen on duty but how can you do that? How can you do that?  Where are they going to be? Everywhere,” said resident Missy McIntyre.

Police are still working on the second sketch. They don’t have a model on the minivan but said it was black. Police are also asking the public for help. If you saw anything, or may have been a victim yourself of a similar incident, they want to hear from you.

More from Christine Sloan
  • WHS

    Westfield is actually VERY safe. It’s so safe that it’s abnormally safe. I’m actually quite surprised to hear this news. It’s unbelievable; I walk around outside at 11 pm or sometimes 12 am, and nothing happens to me.

  • katie

    People who blame the victim make me SICK!!!!!

    This is the exact reason why SOOO many women are in fear of reporting crimes like this! People love to jump to judgment and assume something fishy is going on.


    Before you jump to conclusions and assume this 20 year old is lying, chew on this.. how do you know she didn’t get into an argument with a friend/boyfriend and storm off?

    I know plenty of people who’ve gotten into arguments and chosen to walk as opposed to taking the ride offered to them, however, i’ve never heard of something like this happening before!!!

    For the record.. there were two men. One white man and one black man.
    Not sure why you all care about race.. unless you plan on looking at the sketches and HELPING to keep your eyes open and look out for these despicable men!!!!




    go do some more reading and get your facts straight people.

  • Anthony B

    And for all of you who don’t want to believe it, IT WAS ONE BLACK MAN AND ONE WHITE MAN, STRAIGHT FROM THE VICTIMS MOUTH.

  • Anthony B

    @Capt. (HAHA) Diego Smith. Before you go out and tell me my statistics are wrong, how about you READ THEM. I said black on white rape is one hundred times MORE COMMON, and not that blacks choose whites one hundred percent of the time. Those statistics were used in a letter from John Buchanon to President Obama and came straight from the national rape crisis center. Is being an illiterate fool a prerequiset to becoming a police officer in whatever town you claim to work in? You can stop pretending to be a police officer now.

  • Capt. Diego Smith

    @Anthony B. Your statement about rape victims are untrue. The fact is that its almost equally divided. Your commit about blacks chosing white victims 100% of the time is wrong and racist. Color doesn’t have a big role in rape cases because its split amlost 50% of the time. Then your racial comment was not needed and that it was racism. Your statistics are not accurate and are biased.

  • diesel

    ruk..you should read it all before making false statements. celock is reporting what abc said(if thats the big deal). anyway your argument is lame the story shows a sketch of a white guy, not the black guy. other than race baiting, not sure what your trying to prove. as for the truth of what happened, not sure went from apparent rape to some sort of sexual attack. hope the woman is ok, but seems there is more to the story though, hope its a happy ending

  • Ruckus

    @deisel my apologies ! You found a news article. But it wasn’t WABC that deserves credit for reporting it. John Celock is the Reporter and not from a major news organization.

    @Anthony B, First, harming another human is wrong physically or emotionally.
    Second, I’m sticking by my first comment(above).
    I understand that blacks by proportion of the population commit more crimes.My comment is when whites do commit the crimes its unbelievable and under report.
    Third, whites have no problem as other whites steal trillions of dollars in retirement, pension funds and investment vehicles of all sorts. Putting millions of white family’s on the street. Because if you did care you all would be in the street protesting
    It wasn’t about race it was about fair reporting and people believing ” it could never happen here”. Anthony B keep throwing around those statistics, your white CEO’s will turn everything into a ghetto.

  • Anthony B

    Ruckus, stop being an ignorant a$$.. Like i said, this girl is one of my friends… My best friend’s girl friend actually.. It was two men between 30-40, one black and one white. Get off your pedestal. Just to let you know, Black on white rapes are ONE HUNDRED TIMES MORE COMMON than the reverse, black criminals choose white victims 45% of the time where as white criminals choose black victims 3% of the time.. No one was trying to turn this into a racial argument but lets face it.. Your people do a good job of giving themselves a bad name.. And all of you that don’t think this is real.. I ASSURE you it is as real as it gets. You should all be ashamed for being soulless wastes of life.

  • deisel

    well i copied and pasted above it says white van driven by male. heres the full link. glad your not mad cause thats what it said. now what? learn reading comprehension?

  • Ruckus

    The WABC report says nothing about a second man being black. Its the “Van” that’s black. The report never says “depicts the white male”. Now what ?!
    I’m not mad at ya just making an observation. White or Black reporters have no problem describing black criminals.

  • diesel

    “depicts the white male who the woman said forced her off of South Chestnut Street at around 4 a.m. Monday and into a white minivan driven by a black male. WABC said that the state police is still working on a sketch of the black male. men stole $450 in cash and two credit cards from the woman, while trying to remove her clothing and sexually assaulting her. Parizeau said that the woman, who declined a rape test and to talk with a rape crisis counselor, was the victim of “criminal sexual assault” and not rape. Police have not said what type of criminal sexual assault is alleged in this case.”

  • diesel

    reports were one was black and one was white…now what?

  • Ruckus

    It is amazing that his race was not mentioned on one news channel. When its very obvious he is white. What all of you don’t want to believe is a white man raped a white women in a white suburban town.

  • Liz

    In Bob’s defense, we have a 20-year-old woman walking home at 3 a.m. with $450 in her pocket. I think the focus on the rape because it’s most likely that the rape was real. The issue of why she was there and what, if anything, she was doing that wasn’t the greatest in the world does not make the rape at all her fault. Even if she was out buying $450 in drugs alone (sure) the rape isn’t her fault.

  • Guy from Westfield

    Like it or not I agree with Bob the story sound so faked, cops should look into the victim as well. Sounds like a made up story, near the park!! We all have been there, that date and time and she saw no one?? She was able to fight them both off but she still didn’t see anyone to ask for help…!!! She should get her story straight first. Cuts and brusies don’t mean a thing as they can be self inflected

    • Maggie

      Guy, you, like Bob are an idiot who should experience such a violation firsthand, just so you come down off your lofty, judgemental perch. What if it was YOUR wife, YOUR sister, YOUR mother, or God forbid, YOUR daughter? Would your take be the same? Have some compassion and human decency.

  • steve

    Bob u fing idiot. This is a sad story for westfield. I hope they get caught, that could have been your sister, daughter or mother! think about it Bob.

  • JB

    Bob, you are a moron. Enough said. Have some respect.

  • Anthony B

    And please, do us all a favor and comment on this again, so you look like even more of an a$$hole than you already are..

  • Anthony B

    Bob, stop trying to pass your own personally problems off as someone else’s. This girl is one of my friends and while you may think her story isn’t believable, her cuts and bruises are as real as they get. This poor girl has been in emotional distress since Sunday night. She is doing somewhat better, no thanks to people like you. People like you deserve to get raped just to understand what she is going through, and deserve no right to the freedom of speech. Go pollute another article with your lack of respect and nonsense.

    • katie

      amen anthony.

      these people who blame the victim make me SICK!!!!!!!

      this girl was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.. and never in her wildest dreams did she expect something like this to happen to her!!!

      all you people need to shut up… walking around with $450 in your pocket in westfield is fairly common!!!!!

      these men didnt have a clue she had money on her when they dragged her into their van! if she had a penny in her pocket this still would have happened!!!


  • bob

    Something doesn’t sound right. She struck the second man and then the attacker and escaped? This isn’t the movies, you don’t hit someone and they are knocked out. My bet is she spent the $450.00 on drugs, had sex with her boyfriend and told this story to her parents…or some other such variation.

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