Cop fell through floor chasing teens who just wouldn’t stay home, police say
South Brunswick police chief Raymond Hayducka blasted four teenage suspects police say broke into a house early Sunday morning — causing an officer to be injured.
And Hoboken police chief Ken Ferrente is expressing anger at those who gathered in a city park on Saturday.
They're just the latest law enforcement authorities to vent frustration about people allegedly violating Gov. Phil Murphy's stay-at-home order, intended to curb the the spread of the novel coronavirus. Murphy himself has alternately called violators "knuckleheads" and "jackasses."
Cop fell through the floor
In South Brunswick, a neighbor called police and reported teens — including one later identified as Firaz Osman, 18 of the Kendall Park section of South Brunswick — had climbed through a first-floor window into a house that was under construction on Point of Woods Drive, police said in an alert through the Nixle service.
Responding officers saw the teens running inside the house and took three of them into custody, Hayducka said. As Officer Kent English searched for someone on the second floor of the house, he fell 10 feet through the floor, the chief said.
Hayducka said English was treated for injuries to his abdomen at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and released.
The group also included two 17-year-olds and one 16-year-old, Hayducka said. All are charged with burglary and violating Murphy's executive order.
"None of what happened this morning needed to take place if people were responsible. We are working too hard to stop this virus to have people recklessly create more problems,” Hayducka said, adding that his department has a zero-tolerance policy for violations of the executive order.
Gathering in Hoboken
Hoboken police chief Kenneth Ferrante was frustrated on Saturday when he saw people gathered in the waterfront area, he said.
"I am at a loss for words," Ferrante said in a re-tweet of a NorthJersey.com story in which he called it "pure arrogance" on the part of people jogging next to each other without wearing face coverings.
"The Hoboken police department is going to be very busy the next 5 hours. I guess many still think they are invincible. Many non-residents coming to the walkway," Ferrante said.
"To those who feel invincible & think there's no way they catch Covid-19, & continue to ignore staying home, social distancing & mask wearing, 81,420 NJ residents have been confirmed positive. If you could bet $1 to win the lottery with 81K winners in NJ, think you could possibly win," Ferrante wrote on his Twitter account.
Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, according to the state Attorney General's office. Violators can potentially face criminal charges including second, third, and fourth degree indictable offenses.
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