Gloucester Township Officers Assaulted While Handling Domestic Dispute
Monday, March 30, 2020
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ--Monday, March 29, at approximately 6:10 PM, officers responded to the 1100 Block of the Little Gloucester Road, Blackwood, New Jersey 08012 for a report of damage to the residence and a family member that threatened to burn down the residence. During the investigation Officers spoke with the homeowner and defendant, Leonard W. Antonelli. Mr. Antonelli was irate and uncooperative with Officers. Officers attempted to calm Mr. Antonelli, but he only got worse. Officers were on location for over one hour trying to sort out and investigate the incident.
Mr. Antonelli became more belligerent and began screaming obscenities at officers as they interviewed other family members. The investigation revealed that Mr. Antonelli called a juvenile (who lived in his house) a racial slur, while shaking the juvenile, during the domestic dispute. When Mr. Antonelli was advised that he was under arrest, he took a fighting stance towards officers. Officers continued to
de-escalate the situation by talking with Mr. Antonelli. The Officers told the defendant that he was under arrest, but he refused to comply. Officers attempted to handcuff Mr. Antonelli at which time he pulled away and attempted to attack the officers, by running towards one of them, trying to throw a punch at them. Officers wrestled Mr. Antonelli to the ground, and he was eventually placed in custody. None of the Officers or Mr. Antonelli sustained any injuries.
Chief Harkins remarked, “While we understand that domestic disputes will increase because of the COVID-19 restrictions, we will not tolerate our Officers getting assaulted. These Officers are there to be peacemakers, and their actions prevented other family members from getting injured. Our Officers are out serving every day, under very stressful conditions. It is intolerable that they have to worry about getting assaulted while also trying to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus. I am proud of the professionalism and restraint showed by our officers during this incident.”
Mr. Antonelli was charged with one count of Resisting Arrest (3rd Degree), one count of Obstruction of the Administration of Law (4th Degree) and Cruelty and Neglect of a Child (4th Degree). Mr. Antonelli was processed and released on a criminal summons pending court.