ROSELLE, NJ — A Westfield man has been arrested and charged with holding a woman against her will for hours at an auto shop in Roselle between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, according to acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park and Roselle Police Chief Gerard Orlando. During that time he allegedly beat, stabbed and attempted to sexually assault her.

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.

According to a press release from the Union County Prosecutor’s office, 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. They heard 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 and Suepoi was arrested without incident, Hummel said.

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An investigation has determined that the 23-year-old victim had arrived at the auto shop sometime around 8 p.m. Tuesday to ask 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. She was taken 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 in Union County Jail Thursday morning, with bail 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, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Anyone with additional information about the activities of Suepoi is urged to contact Roselle Police Department Detective Woody Lespinasse at 908-245-9200.

According to the prosecutor’s office, these criminal charges are mere accusations and each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.