RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, NEW BRUNSWICK - Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey, Chief Kenneth Cop of the Rutgers University Police Department and Director Anthony A. Caputo of the New Brunswick Police Department said authorities are searching for a Newark man who was charged today with attacking and severely beating a female student in New Brunswick last week.
Michael P. Knight, 37, was charged with aggravated assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, kidnapping and endangering his injured victim during the attack on May 4, 2016.
Knight, who may be armed and is considered dangerous, also was charged with terroristic threats for threatening to kill a man who attempted to follow Knight as he fled the scene of the attack.
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Bail has been set at $1 million for Knight, who remains at large. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
He is described as having shoulder length dreadlocks that may be tied at the back of his head. He is 6-feet, 2-inches tall and weighs between 220 and 250 pounds. He also has tattoos, including one on the left side of his neck. That tattoo consists of the letter “D,” but the remainder of the tattoo is unclear.
An investigation has determined that Knight followed the woman and attacked her near College Avenue and Seminary Place on the New Brunswick campus on May 4, 2016 at 3:30 a.m.
He struck her on the head, severely beat her, dragged her to the side of a building and was attempting to sexually assault her when a group of individuals intervened. As he fled, he said he had a gun and threatened to shoot one of the men who attempted to chase him.
The woman was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where she was treated for injuries. She since has been released from hospital care.
The investigation into the attack is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez of the Rutgers University Police Department at (848) 932-8025, or Detective George Stilwell of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-8675.
In addition, Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County is offering a reward for any information leading to the apprehension and prosecution of Knight.
Individuals may contact Crime Stoppers anonymously by phone, website or text messaging.
The phone number is: 1-800-939-9600. The website is: middlesextips.com. The direct link to a webpage on Knight is:
http://middlesextips.com/crimeoftheweek.aspx. Text messages may be sent to 274637 (CRIMES) with the keyword “midtip” followed by a message.
Those who call will be given instructions on how to collect cash rewards by using a numerical code that will be recognized by a local bank, which will pay the rewards that are approved by the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Knight are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.