Fugitive sweep nabs 52

One man allegedly beat his girlfriend with a broomstick. The other used a bat and metal pole, police claim.

Hiram Rivera Jr. and Randy Flowers weren't nearly as tough, though, when members of the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force came looking for them in Camden recently during a major fugitive sweep in the city that resulted in 52 arrests.

"We were targeting the worst of the worst," said James Plousis, U.S. marshal for New Jersey, during a news conference yesterday afternoon.

On Feb. 17, task force members converged on a home on Carman Street and saw Rivera climbing out a window onto the roof and back, several times. When he retreated inside for the final time, officers came through the front door and arrested him.

Rivera was wanted on aggravated-assault and weapons charges, and for allegedly beating his girlfriend in January. During the arrest, investigators found a pound of marijuana, 480 Ecstasy pills, 69 bags of crack cocaine, and five weapons, authorities said.

A week later, the task force found Flowers hiding in a hidden compartment beneath the stairs of a home on 19th Street. He was also wanted on aggravated-assault charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend with the bat and biting and strangling her.