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Alleged Attacks on Girlfriend, Infant, Cops Lead To 25-Count Indictment

A Middletown 38-year-old faces trial, accused of attacking his ex-girlfriend, their one-year-old daughter, and cops who responded to the 911 call last March.

Grand jurors in Freehold today handed up a 25-count indictment against Gregory Canova. He remains in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in lieu of $882,500 cash-only bail.

The Scales of Justice
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Prosecutors contend that on March 25, Canova assaulted the woman in a Wall Township motel room, strangling her with a belt and an electric cord while the infant looked on.

A short while later, they say, she escaped with the youngster in her car, with Canova in pursuit on Route 71. Investigators say that Canova pulled alongside at Boston Boulevard in Sea Girt and rammed the passenger’s side, causing the car to spin out, bolting away while bystanders offered her aid. Neither she nor the toddler were hurt, and the youngster was strapped into a back-seat safety seat, say prosecutors.

Sea Girt police who responded to the 911 call at that point notified surrounding towns to be alert for Canova’s car. Officers on patrol in Middletown tried to arrest him as he emerged from the car in his driveway, but prosecutors say Canova fought them off, jumped back in the car and hit one of the cops as he pulled away, dragging him several feet.

According to investigators, Canova led a second Middletown officer on a chase through a neighborhood, pulled a U-turn, and drove head-on into the squad car before pulling away yet again. The subsequent chase led to a dead end street, they allege, where Canova’s car became stuck on a curb when he tried another U-turn.

Police say Canova put up a violent struggle to avoid arrest, and when finally subdued and placed in a patrol car, kicked out a window.

The report also says that Canova claimed not to be injured but was checked out at Riverview Medical Center along with the two officers. They sustained neck, back, leg, hand and knee injuries.

Canova’s indictment includes four counts of aggravated assault and two of aggravated assault while eluding, each classified as second-degree and punishable by up to 10 years in prison on conviction, with a requirement to serve at least 85 percent of the time under the No Early Release Act.

Charges also include two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one of eluding, also all second-degree, with possible 10-year prison terms. Canova is also charged with five counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, four of possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, and two of resisting arrest, all third-degree counts with possible five-year sentences.

The remaining counts include three of unlawful possession of a weapon and one each of assault by auto and contempt, punishable on conviction by up to 18 months behind bars.

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