"The man was so strong he broke the handcuffs in half,"
~said One Neighbor
William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ -December 1, 2023--Around 9:30 PM Thursday this reporter was sitting in the back room of our house writing an article about an upcoming trial. The room was quiet, but I heard a muffled sound coming from the direction of nearby North Harley Avenue, which is the street behind us. My best friend, Peyton was lying on the floor in front of me snoring. Suddenly, she jumped up and ran towards our back patio door; undoubtedly, she heard the same sound I did.
Once the door was opened, she bolted down the steps towards our fence, barking. In the distance, more clearly now that I am outside, I hear someone yelling,
I couldn't see anyone. I yell back several times. "Where are you?"
This person is crying loud and sobbing; he continues, "Help me!"
I head inside to ask my wife to call 911. She is way ahead of me and is talking with the 911 operator.
The cries for help stop coming from behind us; instead, they are coming from our next-door neighbor's yard now.
Looking out our porch windows, two neighborhood men are wrestling with someone. The scuffle is on the front porch of the house across the street. The two old men have the other man lying face down. One of the men detaining that guy yells to the other man, "Move out of the way. I'll hit him over the head with my bat. The other guy says, No! No! Don't hit him with the bat."
At a glance to my left, there is a host of police cars arriving on Thompson Avenue and North Stinson Ave. Finally, the police arrived. Besides Gloucester City, police there are also police from Brooklawn and Westville. Flashing lights are all you can see. The cop car lights were blinding me.
The man causing the ruckus remains on the ground at this time. Four cops are fighting with him, trying to put him into handcuffs; they are having an awful time. A few minutes later, the four cops succeeded, and the scrimmage between the parties ended.
Friday, the following day, the neighbors tell their harrowing story.
According to one of the couples, who didn't want to be identified, the man tried to get into their house on Thursday night. The woman said, "In all the years I lived here, this was the first time I was actually afraid in my house."
She said, "He broke the glass in their storm door and broke the door knob off of the front door of the other house that he was trying to enter."
The neighbor said, "This guy was so strong he broke the handcuffs he was wearing in half."
"Before the police arrived, he had fallen out front headfirst on the concrete sidewalk and cut his head open. We were in our bedroom when we heard the cries for help. I look out our window and see this guy crawling on my lawn. He sees me standing up and heads toward where I am, peeking out the window. He started banging on the front of my house near the bedroom. Next, I heard him breaking the glass in my storm door. I thought for sure he was going to break down the front door and get in. There was blood everywhere," said the resident.
"The police had him sitting on our front steps; he was dripping blood all over our steps. We just installed those steps. I kept asking the police can't you move him off my steps?"
Another neighbor said, "I heard a lot of noise coming from the back of our house. I look out and see a guy I don't know standing at my back door. A few minutes later, my other neighbor and I were wrestling with him, trying to get him on the ground. He had jumped our backyard fence. He came from Harley Avenue."
The cops told the residents that the man lived in the immediate area, but they didn't say where or did they give his name.