JACKSON – A 26-year-old male resident of Lakewood was arrested following his involvement in an incident at a store in Jackson on May 18. Following a series of alleged actions toward police officers, the man was charged with making terroristic threats and aggravated assault.
According to the Jackson Police Department, at 6:22 p.m., officers Matthew Jamison, Ryan Gladysz and Jody Benecke responded to the Dollar General store in the Manhattan Street shopping center to investigate a report of a disorderly person.
Police were told a man in the store had removed the face mask he was wearing in accordance with coronavirus pandemic guidelines and was refusing store employees’ requests to put his mask back on. Police were also told the man was purposely touching other customers in the store.
Officers found the man in the store and asked him to come outside with them. When the officers attempted to obtain the man’s name, he refused to provide the information. Police said the man claimed he was from another state and claimed he did not have identification on him.
When told he was being detained and had to provide identification, the man turned around, placed his hands behind his back and told the officers to arrest him, according to police.
The man was told he was under arrest, but as the officers went to handcuff him, he pulled away and ran from them. He was caught after a short foot pursuit and a struggle ensued as the man refused to allow the officers to place handcuffs on him, according to police.
The man was eventually handcuffed and the officers found him to be in possession of his New Jersey driver’s license. He was subsequently transported to police headquarters.
While being processed at headquarters, the man yelled profanities at the officers and threatened to assault them. At that time he spit into the face of one officer and claimed he had the coronavirus, according to police.
The man was placed in a holding cell and was observed placing a mattress from a cot over a security camera. Police said he began to use the toilet to flood the cell.
The man was secured in a second room, where he allegedly continued to yell obscenities at the officers, spit all over the room and coughed at the officers as they attempted to continue to process him.
Police said the man continued to claim he had the coronavirus and said the man disrobed and sat in the room naked.
Jackson police said the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office approved the following charges against the Lakewood resident: obstruction of the administration of the law, resisting arrest, hindering apprehension, fourth degree aggravated assault (throwing, i.e., spitting, bodily fluids at law enforcement officers while in performance of their duties) and second degree terroristic threats (made during a state of emergency).
The man was transported to the Ocean County Jail, Toms River. Police said the areas at police headquarters where he was processed were cleaned and disinfected.