N.J. police chief: Couple 'formed plan to engage' cops for 'purpose of killing 2' LEOs
Chief Walt Miller said they were familiar with the couple from prior encounters and the targeting of his officers was "related and retaliatory"
By Amira Sweilem
EVESHAM, N.J. — A Burlington County husband and wife face multiple charges in what authorities described in a targeted attack on police officers that ended with multiple vehicles being rammed as they attempted to escape arrest early Sunday outside an Evesham home.
Marc Ferraiolo, 23, is charged with two counts of attempted murder of a police officer and multiple related charges, including injuring a police K-9, following a rampage in front of his home. His wife, Ruth Patton, 42, is charged with making terroristic threats and obstruction of justice.
No officers suffered major injuries during the 2 a.m. incident on Marlborough Avenue, but Ferraiolo struck a police vehicle multiple times that held K-9 Tango. The dog is receiving medical treatment, police said.
Evesham Police Chief Walt Miller said at a press conference Sunday that officers are familiar with Ferraiolo and Patton from multiple prior encounters, and the alleged targeting of officers by the couple early Sunday was related and retaliatory.
“The continued investigation has determined that Ferraiolo and Patton earlier in the evening formed a plan to engage Evesham Police officers for the purpose of killing two police officers,” Miller said. “The manifestation of the actions that we witnessed was a carrying out of that plan.”
Miller said the couple went looking for police and found officers about 1 a.m. on Taunton Lake Road investigating an unrelated crash. The officers on scene saw a white sedan speed by westbound at about 80 mph on the 45 mph road.
The car seemed to accelerate as it passed police, who reported the incident. Other officers soon found the vehicle on Willowbend Road at Evans Road and tried to stop the vehicle, but it fled through a red light, Miller said. The officers recognized it as Ferraiolo’s vehicle and ended the pursuit for safety reasons, Miller said.
Instead, police obtained a warrant for Ferraiolo’s arrest for eluding police and waited for him at his home on Marlborough Road, where he lives with Patton, Miller said. The home is owned by Ferraiolo’s mother.
The couple pulled into their driveway at about 2 a.m. and Patton hopped out and began yelling “violent threats” to officers, Miller said. Ferraiolo refused to get out of the car, police said.
He then drove backwards toward the officers and their vehicles, police said. Two officers on foot got out of the way, but Ferraiolo hit the vehicle with K-9 Tango, police said.
Ferraiolo then drove over his neighbor’s lawn, made a U-turn and drove towards the officers and again crashed into the patrol car with Tango inside, police said. He struck two more patrol cars and a neighbor’s car before his vehicle became disabled, police said.
A neighbor provided NJ Advance Media security camera footage that recorded part of the incident.
“I watched the video from last night. We were lucky,” Miller said. “This could have been really really bad.”
Officers broke a window and pulled Ferraiolo from the damaged car and he was taken to a hospital for his injuries, which were police said were not considered life threatening.
During Ferraiolo’s arrest, Patton interfered with police and threatened to kill officers, Miller said.
“I’m very grateful that they were able to get out of the way, that at the end of this no one was seriously injured,” Miller said. “Our hope is that Mr. Ferraiolo and Mrs. Patton will be held accountable for their violations.”
At the press conference, about a dozen of people who said they are Ferraiolo’s neighbors arrived, and while they were not permitted to attend, they voiced several complaints about Ferraiolo, saying he’s been a nuisance. They accused him of property damage, shooting off fireworks and not maintaining the property. They’ve called police and signed their own court actions.
None of the neighbors would give their names.
Evesham court records show that Ferraiolo has been charged with multiple violations of a township ordinances, including every day in April until Friday. The allegations behind the ordinance violation was not clear in court records.
Robert Corrales, Evesham’s township manager, confirmed the town has repeatedly issued Feraiolo ordinance violations. He did not eleborate.
©2023 Advance Local Media LLC.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.