Thursday, May 31, 2007

Middletown Twsp. PD Press Release


Prepared by Detective Lieutenant Joseph C. Capriotti

On Monday May 28, 2007 at approximately 1:49AM Middletown Twp. Police Officer Thomas Meckier, Officer Sean Sweeney and Sergeant William Colangelo arrested Dennis Smith, Jr. age 32, of West Keansburg, NJ, and charged him with three counts of aggravated assault on police officers, resisting arrest, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of under 50 grams of marijuana, driving while intoxicated and numerous other motor vehicle violations. His bail was set at $30,000 with no 10 percent option.

A resident of Wilson Avenue in the Port Monmouth section of the township was hosting a party at the home when Smith arrived at the home uninvited. He was driving a blue Chevrolet pick up truck and began driving across the front lawn of the home. The resident of the house called police and provided the responding officers with the vehicle description and the license plate number.

Officer Meckier and Officer Sweeney observed the truck traveling west on State Highway 36 at Main Street in Port Monmouth being operated erratically and at a high rate of speed . They attempted to stop the truck but the driver continued on and finally stopped at Thompson Avenue and Ocean Avenue in Middletown.

Once the vehicle had stopped, Officer Meckier approached the driver and detected an odor of alcoholic beverage and burnt marijuana coming from the driver, Mr. Smith. Officer Meckier requested Smith step out of the truck to determine if he was driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs but he refused. After several requests by Officer Meckier and Officer Sweeney Smith eventually exited the vehicle and Officer Sweeney noticed what appeared to be a knife in Smith’s pocket. The officers asked Smith if he had a knife in his pocket and he replied he did and began to reach in his pocket for it. The officers ordered him to remove his hand from his pocket and they would retrieve the knife.

He resisted the officers attempts retrieve the knife and began flailing his arms striking the officers. The officers were able to bring him to the ground and subdue Smith and retrieved two knives from his pocket and a small clear jar of suspected marijuana. While the officers were walking Smith to the police car he began to struggle violently, kicking at the officers and refusing to get into the police car. They were able to get his body into the car but his feet remained outside the car and he continued to kick the officers and the door of car. Sergeant William Colangelo had arrived to assist and repeatedly tried to get Smith to cooperate with the officers but he continued to refuse and fight and spit at the officers.

Off-duty Middletown Police Officer John Kaiser was driving past and saw the three officers struggling with Smith and stopped to aid the officers. Due to the continuing struggle with Smith and the increasing risk of injury to the officers and Smith, Sgt. Colangelo utilized pepper spray to obtain compliance from Smith and the officers had to restrain Smith’s feet to avoid being kicked any further.

Smith was finally brought to police headquarters where he was treated for exposure to pepper spray and processed on the charges.

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