Louis Cataldo, 62, is accused in a four-count indictment of shooting the 36-year-old woman at his restaurant and then causing a police stand-off outside his home at unit 40 of the Bay Point Harbour development at the south end of Bay Avenue in Point Pleasant Borough last June.
Cataldo is charged in the indictment with first degree attempted murder, two counts of second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, second degree Aggravated Assault, and third degree Resisting Arrest.
The charges stem from the June 18, 2013 shooting outside the Sand Bar restaurant in Brielle, and his subsequent arrest following an eight-hour stand-off with law enforcement officers at his Point Pleasant residence.
Brielle police officers responded to several 911 calls around 12:56 a.m. on June 18, 2013, reporting a woman had been shot at the Sand Bar restaurant.
Officers arrived to find several Good Samaritans tending to the injured victim, a 36-year-old woman who was employed by the restaurant as the general manager.
The victim was subsequently transported by Brielle First Aid and Monmouth Ocean Hospital Services Corporation (MONOC) paramedics to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, in Neptune, where she underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to her back and injuries to her lungs and eyes.The subsequent investigation revealed that Cataldo, the owner of the Sand Bar, walked the victim out to her car after he and the victim closed the restaurant for the night.
Shortly after the shooting, police tracked Cataldo to his residence in Point Pleasant and requested assistance from the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team.
After approximately eight hours of negotiations, members of the SWAT Team attempted to take Cataldo into custody inside of his house.
As the officers attempted to arrest him, Cataldo retreated back towards a bathroom, grabbed a handgun, and fired a shot which did not strike anyone. He was then taken into custody without further incident.
Cataldo was lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township, where he remains incarcerated in lieu of $3,500,000 bail with no option to post 10 percent.
If convicted, Cataldo faces a maximum potential custodial sentence of up to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison on the first degree Attempted Murder charge, and up to 10 years in prison on each second degree weapons charge, as well as the second degree Aggravated Assault charge.
The Attempted Murder and the Aggravated Assault charges are both subject to the "No Early Release Act" (NERA) requiring he must serve 85 percent of any sentence imposed prior to becoming eligible for parole.
In addition, Cataldo potentially faces an additional sentence of up to 5 years if convicted of third degree Resisting Arrest.
The next court proceeding will be an arraignment, which is the formal presentation of the indictment to the defendant. The arraignment will be scheduled within the next 45 days before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, P.J.Cr.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and State law.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Bogner. Cataldo is represented by Charles Clark, Esquire, of Freehold.
The prepared statement from the prosecutor's office did not provide any update regarding the victim's name or current condition.