Fort Lee Man Charged with Murder in Connection with Hit-and-Run Death of Girlfriend
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office released details of Charles J. Ann’s arrest Tuesday on murder charges.
A 26-year-old Fort Lee man has been charged with murder in connection with the hit-and-run death of his girlfriend Monday outside the Fort Lee Community Center, where he allegedly struck her with his car and then drove over her multiple times, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli announced Tuesday.
Charles J. Ann of 201 Bridge Plaza North in Fort Lee was charged with the murder of 25-year-old Aena Hong, of Fort Lee, whom he had been dating for about a year, authorities said. Ann is accused of hitting Hong with his car after an argument and then repeatedly driving over her, in front of multiple witnesses, authorities said.
At about 4:55 p.m. Monday, Fort Lee police received numerous 911 calls about a pedestrian struck at the intersection of Anderson Avenue and Inwood Terrace, and witnesses reported seeing the vehicle fleeing the scene, authorities said.
Responding officers found Hong in the road with what authorities described as “grave injuries.” Hong was transported to Holy Name Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:54 pm., authorities said.
An ensuing investigation revealed that Ann, an unemployed native of Korea who came to the U.S. in 2009, allegedly struck Hong intentionally, after Hong had been walking “while arguing with” Ann, authorities said, citing eyewitness accounts.
“Just before the incident, the vehicle was observed to drive away from Ms. Hong and turn around. As the victim was crossing the road, Charles Ann rapidly accelerated his motor vehicle, striking Ms. Hong,” authorities said in a statement.
After hitting Hong once, Ann allegedly put his car in reverse, backed up over her and then drove forward over Hong again, going back and forth over the victim about three times, authorities said.
Hong was alleged to have been trying recently to end what authorities described as “a tumultuous dating relationship” with Ann.
Police found a 2011 Hyundai Sonata registered to Ann—county accident investigators determined it was the car that allegedly struck and killed Hong—abandoned on 10th Street in Fort Lee hours after the attack, authorities said.
Ann allegedly fled to a friend’s apartment in Flushing, Queens after abandoning the vehicle, where he was located and arrested by investigators with the assistance of New York City Police at about 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, authorities said.
Ann allegedly had his passport and “a large sum of cash” in his possession at the time of his arrest, and was believed to be in the process of attempting to flee the country, authorities said.
The arrest was the result of a joint investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Fort Lee Police Department.
Ann was charged with first-degree murder, and bail was set at $3 million with no 10 percent option. Ann is currently being held in Queens Criminal Court pending an extradition hearing, authorities said.
An autopsy on Hong is planned for later Tuesday at the Bergen County Medical Examiner's Office, authorities said.