A Toms River Police officer is being credited with averting in resolving a situation that could have escalated into the use of deadly force.

On Monday, a police patrol came upon a man who was waving a machete and yelling at motorists near the intersection of Brookside Drive and Route 37 just after 7:30 p.m.

As officers tried to calm the man, he ran off into some nearby woods.

Police formed a perimeter around the woods, and continued to try and calm the man down.

Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little posted on Facebook that over the next 20-minutes, the man became increasingly irritated and refused multiple orders to drop the machete.

At one point, he began swinging the knife in the direction of the responding officers.

While the suspect was distracted, Officer Brian Appleby moved in a tackled the man to the ground. Other officers moved in and secured the machete.

The suspect was taken to the hospital for an evaluation. He has also been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and disorderly conduct.

Chief Little praised Officer Appleby and "all of the officers for an incredible amount of restraint which could have certainly become a deadly force situation."

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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