Press Release


For Immediate Release:
April 5, 2024

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the conviction of AUGUSTO PEREZ of North Bergen, NJ in connection with the stabbing death of Omar Cruz on February 16, 2021. On April 5, 2024, after a six-week trial before the Honorable Susan J. Steele, J.S.C. in Bergen County Superior Court, AUGUSTO PEREZ was convicted of aggravated manslaughter and hindering apprehension.

On February 16, 2021, AUGUSTO PEREZ stabbed Omar Cruz to death behind the Ulta Beauty store in the Bergen Town Center mall in Maywood, NJ. An investigation led to his arrest at his North Bergen home on February 17, 2021.

On April 5, 2024, a jury convicted AUGUSTO PEREZ of aggravated manslaughter and hindering his own apprehension by suppression of blood evidence connecting him to the crime. Sentencing is scheduled for May 30, 2024 where the defendant faces the possibility of an extended term up to life in New Jersey State Prison.

The State was represented by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Talarico and Assistant Prosecutor Ricky Ruddy of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office with the assistance of Detective Natalia Navarro and legal clerk Merci Meneses.

Prosecutor Musella thanks the prosecution team for their zealous advocacy for the victim and his family and for helping combat crimes of violence in Bergen County. Prosecutor Musella also commends the detectives of the Major Crimes Unit as well as members of the Maywood Police Department under the direction of Chief Terence Kenny, the Paramus Police Department under the direction of Chief Robert Guidetti, and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Anthony Cureton, for their skill and professionalism in investigating this matter.