By KATHY CHANG
WOODBRIDGE — The use of deadly force against Rodney Jencsik last year was justifiable under state law, according to an investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
That announcement came on Friday, Aug. 5.
Woodbridge police shot Jencsik, 50, around 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, 2015, outside his Freddie Avenue trailer home in Avenel hours after he allegedly inflicted fatal stab wounds on his former girlfriend, Dina Marie Heil, of the Parlin section of Sayreville, at a home on Englishtown Road in Old Bridge and injured an unidentified man, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.
The man was treated for stab wounds at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, police said.
Old Bridge police posted an alert for Jencsik, who was later seen in Woodbridge driving a Jaguar, authorities said.
Woodbridge police attempted to stop Jencsik, who fled. Police followed him to the Freddie Avenue home in the Ideal Homes trailer park, where members of the Woodbridge Police Department — and later, the Woodbridge Police Department Crisis Negotiation Team and Special Operations Team — surrounded the home and attempted to convince Jencsik to surrender.
Crisis negotiators said they made contact with Jencsik on numerous occasions, according to officials, and claimed Jencsik made a statement that if negotiators tried to enter through the doorway, it would explode.
When crisis negotiators lost contact with Jencsik, command staff of the Special Operations Team reportdly formulated and executed a plan to deploy chemical agents, specifically Ortho-Chloro-Benzal-Malononitrile, commonly known as “CS”. CS is classified as a lacrimator, as well as a skin and respiratory irritant, according to officials.
The chemical agents were reportedly delivered into the residence with the purpose of having Jencsik exit and surrender, officials said.
Once the chemical agents were deployed, Jencsik reportedly kicked open the door, and while holding a “dark colored object” pointed in the direction of officers and allegedly stated, “I will kill you,” according to Carey.
Officers reportedly began to give verbal commands to “drop the gun.” Additional canisters of chemical agents were then deployed into the residence.
Police said they made multiple verbal commands to have Jencsik drop his weapon, according to the report.
As Jencsik allegedly continued to point a handgun at officers, an officer with the Special Operations Team fired two less lethal rounds at Jencsik. Almost simultaneously, another officer observed Jencsik still standing and fired two rounds, striking him in the chest, according to officials.
Officers then began to provide medical assistance to Jencsik and he was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A .45 caliber handgun and a sawed off shotgun were reportedly recovered from Jencsik’s residence, according to police.
The investigation concluded that the use of deadly force by the officer of the Special Operations Team was justifiable under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice due to a number of factors.
“Specifically by Jencsik ignoring commands to drop his weapon, specifically a handgun which could cause serious bodily injury or death,” the statement by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said.
“Furthermore, Jencsik had brandished the weapon in such a way as to infer intent to harm; and having already exhibited the willingness to cause serious bodily injury and death to others in the commission of the crimes he had previously committed in the Old Bridge resulted in the officer having a reasonable belief that in the absence of such level of force, [the officer who fatally shot Jenscik] and other officers present at the scene were in jeopardy of incurring serious bodily injury or death.”