New Jersey police laud bystander who aided officer in chokehold
Police in New Jersey praised a bystander who intervened in a struggle between an officer and a disorderly patron inside a mall last week.
The bystander intervened as the patron allegedly held the officer in a “Guillotine” chokehold, preventing blood and oxygen from reaching the brain, the Deptford Township Police Department said in a news release. With the unidentified bystander’s help, the officer, Anthony Gatto, was able to break free from the chokehold and restrain the patron, who police identified as Michael Carberry, a 43-year-old from Mickelton, New Jersey.
Gatto suffered minor injuries in the struggle, police said. He was treated by emergency medical services personnel in Gloucester County after the incident on Friday evening.
Carberry was taken into custody and booked at the Salem County jail. The suspect faces a number of charges, including criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and defiant trespassing, according to police.
Gatto initially confronted the suspect on the second level of the Deptford Mall just after 7:30 p.m. on Friday, when police arrived at the shopping center in response to a report of a male allegedly harassing other patrons. Carberry refused to exit the property despite officers’ instructions and allegedly became confrontational as a result, according to police.
When Gatto attempted to place the suspect under arrest, police allege that Carberry “took a bladed, ‘Fighting Stance'” before putting the officer in the chokehold. The bystander intervened amid the struggle, and Carberry was handcuffed.
Deptford Police Chief Joe Smith commended the bystander in a statement.
“Now, more than ever, we rely on the strength of community and the strength of each other,” Smith said. “We value our relationships with the residents and stakeholders of Deptford Township and we are thankful that a mall patron had the bravery to intervene and assist our officer. For that, I am forever grateful.”
Two days earlier, thousands of people gathered to attend the funeral of another Deptford police officer, Robert Shisler, who died on May 7, the Associated Press reported. Shisler’s death came about two months after he was shot by an armed pedestrian during a struggle in March and suffered serious injuries. The pedestrian also died in the struggle.