Love triangle shooting suspect was living under A.C. boardwalk
A fugitive charged in the attempted murder of a businessman who he believed was having a relationship with his estranged wife was found Thursday in Atlantic City boardwalk, authorities said.
Investigators said the suspect had eluded police for nearly a month by sleeping under the boardwalk.
Donald Rutter, on the run since the shooting of the owner of Jarvis Marine in Little Egg Harbor on Jan. 6, was arrested near Tennessee Avenue, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer told Townsquare Media News.
Already charged with attempted murder, Rutter, 61, was returned to Ocean County by U.S. marshals.
Thomas Jarvis, 55, is recovering from the shot to his abdomen.
"I am extremely thankful for the outstanding teamwork exhibited by all the law enforcement agencies involved in locating Rutter. This is a prime example of law enforcement at its best, with our partners at the local, county, state and federal levels coming together – working tirelessly for more than three weeks – to capture a fugitive from justice. Their collaboration and perseverance certainly paid off today," Billhimer said.
According to an affidavit filed by investigators in Superior Court in Ocean County, Rutter blamed Jarvis for the breakup of his 18-year marriage.
Two weeks before the shooting, Rutter was told by his wife that she "no longer wanted to be with him as a result of his drinking," the affidavit says.
Jarvis told police that when he arrived at his business, he saw Rutter who smiled and pointed a gun at him. Jarvis was shot before he could jump for cover. He then ran to a neighboring house and called 911, investigators said.
When asked by investigators for a possible motive, Jarvis said that Rutter believed that he was responsible for breaking up his marriage.
The complaint and affidavit in the case do not confirm whether the victim was in any relationship with the fugitive's wife.