NJ man, stopped for speeding while wife in labor, paying ticket
HOWELL — A New Jersey man who was pulled over for speeding while taking his pregnant wife to the hospital will pay a fine to settle the ticket.
The lawyer for Abraham Steinfeld said Friday the man has pleaded guilty to a less severe traffic violation and will pay $92 in fines and court fees. The Asbury Park Press reports Steinfeld was pulled over for driving 78 mph in a 50 mph zone while rushing his wife to the hospital on Nov. 14.
Howell police released dashboard footage of the stop, showing Officer Anthony Marotto asking for the couple's license and registration and offering to call them an ambulance.
Abraham Steinfeld had previously called the experience a “harrowing ordeal,” saying the officer ignored the couple’s pleas.
The township Police Department has defended the officer and released bodycam video of the stop. In a statement this in November, the department called the interaction by both the officer and the couple “polite and respectful.”
The couple was pulled over 11:57 p.m. Nov. 14 on Squankum Road between Maxim and Old Tavern roads. Police said the car was traveling 78 mph in a 50 mph zone.
In a post in November on The Lakewood Scoop website, Steinfeld says he explained to the officer that his wife was in “advanced labor.”
"I tried explaining the severity of the situation, but he cut me off without inquiring in what condition my wife is, and just asked for license and registration," Steinfeld wrote. "We pleaded with him to please make it fast as we are in an emergency, but he answered curtly, sit tight."
Steinfeld said his wife gave birth at the hospital about 20 minutes after the officer let them go.
Police say the traffic stop lasted 9 minutes and 29 seconds and that the officer handed over the speeding ticket 6 minutes after the car was pulled over. The department’s statement blamed the man for prolonging the stop by asking who he could call to “explain the situation.”
In the video, the officer asks the couple if they would like him to call an ambulance, but they decline several times.
The couple asks if the officer could escort them to the hospital, but Officer Anthony Marotto tells them, “ No, we don’t do that. That is what ambulances are for.”
The department’s statement said it would be against its policies for a police vehicle to escort a car to a hospital.
— With previous reporting by Sergio Bichao. Includes material copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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