BRICK — After two violent crimes within a couple of miles from each other late Saturday night, police have not said whether the incidents are connected.

Brick police said Heather Buckles, a driver for Mantoloking Taxi, picked up a fare around 10 p.m. at the corner of Stephen Road and Lark Lane.

She said the man asked to be taken to the Wawa store on Newtons Corner Road in the Ramtown section of Howell, and then asked her to pick up a friend on Newtons Corner Road at Herborn Avenue.

Police said when Buckles pulled over, the man grabbed her from the back and held what she told officers felt like a knife to her throat and demanded her keys and cash, which he took before exiting the vehicle and running away.

According to police, the man was described as a black male, between 25 and 35 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches or 5 feet 10 inches, with facial hair and a medium build, who was wearing dark clothing and a puffy jacket.

Because the robbery was reported along the shared border between townships, Howell police were called and used a K9 unit to track the passenger. Police did not disclose in what direction the man was believed to have gone.

Brick police also responded around 11:30 p.m. to a report of multiple shots fired at 187 Briar Mills Drive in the Briar Mills development, which is roughly two miles driving distance from the reported taxi robbery, though separated by the Garden State Parkway.

Jaquill Johnson, 18, was was shot in the right leg in what Brick police called a drive-by shooting.

Johnson was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

As of Sunday afternoon, police said no weapon was recovered and no arrests were made.

Brick police spokesman Sgt. James Kelly said no additional information would be released about either investigation.

Township police asked anyone with information about either incident to call 732-262-1116.

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