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NJ Attorney General’s Office Investigating Incident after Officers Were Attacked at Route 3 West Howard Johnsons

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Clifton NJ, the NJ Attorney General’s Office is investigating an incident that took place earlier this morning at a hotel in Clifton, N.J., during which a man allegedly slashed a police officer in the face with a knife, and two other officers fired their service weapons at the man. The man, who was not hit by the gunfire, later stabbed himself in the chest during a subsequent encounter with police at the hotel. The 35-year-old man, whose identity is not being released at this time, was transported to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, where he underwent surgery and remains hospitalized.

According to the preliminary investigation, three officers from the Clifton Police Department responded at approximately 5:18 a.m. to a report of an individual in mental health crisis at the Howard Johnson Inn on Route 3 West. They proceeded to a room on the fourth floor where the man was staying. They attempted to communicate with him through the closed door of the room and eventually forced entry into the room. Once the door was open, the officers had a brief interaction at the doorway with the man, who was armed with two knives. The man allegedly slashed one officer in the face as he exited the room into the hallway, at which time the other two officers fired their service weapons in the man’s direction. The man ran down the hall and through a fire door; he remained in that area of the hotel, armed with the two knives.
The Passaic County SWAT Team responded to the hotel and located the man in the fourth floor hallway. Shortly after 7 a.m., a SWAT team member fired a Taser at the man, who at the same time stabbed himself in the chest with a knife. Emergency medical treatment was rendered at the hotel and the man was transported to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center.
The officer who sustained a knife wound to his face was also treated at St. Joseph’s and released.
The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time. The names of the officers are not being released at this time, but will be released pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-3(b)
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