BRICK TOWNSHIP, NJ – Just after 9:30 P.M. on Monday night, July 20th, calls started coming into police about a large disorderly party on Atlantic Drive in the Baywood section of the township. Initial responding officers advised that there appeared to be in excess of 400 partygoers. As a result, Atlantic Dr and the surrounding streets were blocked with parked vehicles, some of them occupied. Aside from the loud music there were reports of littering, public urination and trespassing. Drug use was also evident. Contact was made with the homeowner Michelle Cicchillo who reported that the party continued to grow until it was beyond her control. She attempted to have the guests leave but they were being defiant and refused to leave.
In order to safely disburse the large crowd officers from surrounding jurisdictions responded to assist. Traffic control was necessary on Drum Point Rd. and side the streets in order to assist the dispersion. For several hours officers systematically scoured the neighborhood, engaging partygoers and instructing them to leave. Other than a few intoxicated and belligerent subjects at the party the majority of the attendees were compliant with police orders to disperse.
While clearing the area officers encountered subjects in a white Mercedes. Upon contact the Mercedes sped off striking two officers, one of them a Street Crimes Unit (SCU) Detective and the other, Patrolman Joseph Riccio. Police pursued that vehicle as it fled west on Drum Point Rd. and on to the Garden State Parkway. Pursuing units broke off due to the dangerous operation and excessive speeds. The SCU Detective was uninjured, but Ptl. Riccio was transported to Brick Hospital to be treated for a knee injury.
The white Mercedes was located in Brielle within an hour of fleeing the scene and the driver, Darius Edwards (24 years old of Brooklyn, NY) was identified as the suspect who struck the officers with his vehicle. Edwards was subsequently charged with two counts of Assault by Auto, Eluding, Obstruction and Possession of Marijuana, as well as motor vehicle offenses.
The homeowner, Cicchillo, was charged with Maintaining a Nuisance and violating the township noise ordinances against excessive loudness and mass gatherings.
During the dispersion, one male subject, Dakari Smith (23 years old of Brooklyn, NY) refused to obey orders and was arrested for Obstruction. He was subsequently released on a summons.
Among the agencies that assisted throughout the event were Lakewood Police, Toms River Police, Wall Township Police, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Howell Police, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey State Police.
Chief Riccio would like to thank the law enforcement agencies that assisted and helped to bring this incident to a successful conclusion.