by Steven Laskiewicz, JPD
JACKSON-On Wednesday October 4, 2017 at approximately 2:48 am, Police Officer Keith French responded to the area of North Point Drive and Eltone Road on the report of a motor vehicle crash and dispute.
Upon the officer’s arrival, he observed a 2005 Nissan crashed into a metal gate and cement barrier at the entrance of the Metedeconk Golf Club entrance and also two males walking away from the scene. As the officer exited his patrol vehicle, to speak with the males, he also observed one of them carrying a license plate which was later determined to have been taken off of the Nissan. The males were ordered multiple times by the officer to stop and return to the scene but they refused to comply with his orders and continued to attempt to leave the scene.
Officer French then approached the males as he continued to give orders for them to stop, which they continued to ignore. As he approached, he took hold of one of the males to place him in handcuffs and as he did, he observed a third male quickly approaching him from the area of Trumball Court while yelling and screaming at him. The officer recognized this male from previous encounters and made an observation that he appeared very agitated as he approached the officer aggressively along with the second male who had been observed attempting to walk away from the vehicle, at which time the officer called for assistance. The officer placed the first male who he had handcuffed on the ground to control him while the other two subjects approached, and the male who had come onto the scene began running around the officer, reportedly appearing very irate while yelling at the officer with clenched fists. The officer then took control of this male and took him to the ground where a brief struggle ensued before he was able to handcuff him and take him into custody, although this male continued to resist the officer’s attempts to control his movements after being handcuffed. At this time, Police Officers Phil Minissale and Wes Thomason arrived on scene and took the third male into custody without further incident. The first male who Officer French had handcuffed attempted to leave the scene at this time and was stopped from doing so by Officer Thomason and reportedly attempted to strike the officer by thrusting his head and elbows backwards toward the officer and kicking up his feet at the officer.
A search of the male who had come onto the scene and confronted the officer resulted in the seizure of two knives, a folding knife and a butterfly style knife. A search of the first male the officer had placed in handcuffs resulted in the seizure of an empty magazine which appeared to belong to an unknown make/model .380 caliber handgun. During the ensuing investigation the officers were not able to locate any weapon in either the crashed vehicle or in the surrounding area. A search of the third male taken into custody resulted in the seizure of a knife and multiple Xanax 2 mg prescription pills packaged in a manner consistent with that for distribution and in excess of $400.00 cash.
Police Officers Shannon Foote, Michael Goelz and Sgt. Michael Friedman then arrived on scene and while searching the scene for the handgun the seized ammunition magazine belonged to, the officers encountered an additional three males outside of a nearby residence on Trumball Court, the area which the male already in custody, had approached from. Due to the discovery of the handgun magazine on the one male, a search was then conducted to locate a firearm at which time, one of the males became disorderly by yelling and screaming at the officers, refusing to identify himself and kicking at the garage door of the house. This male was then taken into custody and attempted to resist the officer’s attempts as they did so.
The four males who were placed under arrest were then transported to police headquarters for processing and the motor vehicle crash which resulted in the officer’s response to the scene was investigated.
Larry Crippen, age 19 of Jackson NJ. Mr. Crippen was charged with: possession of marijuana, tampering with evidence (it was discovered that while struggling with the officer, he had eaten a quantity of marijuana), obstruction, resisting arrest, possession of prohibited weapons and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He was processed and later lodged in the Ocean County Jail.
Leyron Jones, age 20 of Toms River NJ. Mr. Jones was charged with: possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute and obstruction. He was processed and later lodged in the Ocean County Jail.
Christian Grimes, age 19 of Jackson NJ. Mr. Grimes was charged with: obstruction and resisting arrest. He was processed and later released on summons pending a court appearance.
Steven Mcneill, age 24 of Jackson NJ. Mr. Mcneill was charged with: disorderly conduct, obstruction and resisting arrest. He was processed and later released on summons pending a court appearance.
Sgt. Mitch Cowit is assisting with the investigation and any possible additional charges are pending at this time based on the continuing investigation.