Officer placed in chokehold by mall patron rescued by bystander
While trying to restrain the suspect, the suspect placed the officer in a chokehold, “effectively cutting off blood and oxygen supply of the officer,” police said
By Matt Gray
DEPTFORD, N.J. — Authorities have charged a Gloucester County man with attempted murder after he allegedly put a Deptford Township police officer in a chokehold Friday night during an encounter at a shopping mall.
Police credited a bystander with coming to the officer’s aid.
Patrol units responded to Deptford Mall around 7:30 p.m. for a report of a man harassing patrons, according to police.
Officer Anthony Gatto made contact with the man, later identified as Michael A. Carberry, 43, of Mickleton, on the second level of the mall, police said.
Carberry refused several requests by the uniformed officer to leave the mall and become confrontational, according to police.
Gatto tried to escort Carberry from the area by “guiding the subject by the arm,” police said, but Carberry allegedly shoved the officer’s hand away and again refused to leave.
When Gatto tried to arrest Carberry for trespassing and being disorderly, the man took a fighting stance, police said. Gatto attempted to physically restrain Carberry, but he allegedly placed the officer in a “guillotine” chokehold, “effectively cutting off blood and oxygen supply of the officer,” police said.
As the men struggled, a bystander helped Gatto escape the chokehold and get Carberry into handcuffs, according to police.
The officer suffered minor injuries and was treated by Gloucester County EMS.
In addition to attempted murder, Carberry was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and defiant trespass.
He was placed in Salem County Correctional Facility pending a detention hearing.
Deptford Police and the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating the case. Anyone with information is asked to call 856-845-6300 or 856-845-2220.
The incident came two days after Deptford Police and thousands of others gathered for the funeral of Deptford Officer Robert J. “Bobby” Shisler, who died May 7 from injuries suffered when he was shot March 10.
“Now, more than ever, we rely on the strength of community and the strength of each other,” Deptford Police Chief Joseph Smith said in a statement regarding the Friday arrest. “We value our relationships with the residents and stakeholders of Deptford Township and we are thankful that a mall patron had the bravery to intervene and assist our officer. For that, I am forever grateful.”