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Montclair State University Police Officer Draws his Weapon During Incident on Campus


Essex County officials are looking into an incident that occurred on an NJ college campus that had an officer draw his weapon during a physical altercation among two involved individuals.

According to a statement released by officials at Montclair State University, the incident occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday when a law enforcement officer from their police department was leaving the substation at the end of his shift.

Officials say the officer observed a fight in progress between two individuals next to a car in a parking lot on the campus at Clove Road and Village roads.

According to information in the statement, the officer promptly contacted police headquarters to advise of the fight in progress and urged them to send backup.

Campus officials say the officer identified to the combatants as a law enforcement officer and ordered the two individuals to cease fighting and to lay on the ground.

The individuals who were involved in the confrontation initially refused to comply with the officer’s order. The officer then noticed a third individual in the front seat of the vehicle and ordered that individual to show his hands. The officer said he then detected additional movement in the rear seat of the car but did not have a clear view since the vehicle’s windows were tinted campus officials said.

Officials say during this process, because of the uncertainty of the situation, the officer drew his weapon to secure the scene until back-up arrived. Requested backup arrived, and the combatants were again ordered to the ground.

Campus officials say one of the suspects -after refusing to comply and allegedly resisting arrest- was subdued to the ground and handcuffed.

The other suspect complied with instructions and was placed under arrest while the individual occupying the back seat was ordered to the ground and searched according to campus officials.

Police say the individual in the front seat was searched by police as well.

All of the officers holstered their weapons to make the arrests, except for one officer who continued to monitor the movements of the partly obscured person in the backseat of the vehicle campus officials said in the statement.

Officials say one police officer suffered a minor injury during the incident, but none of the officers fired any shots.

Montclair State University campus officials would not immediately say if the suspects were active students attending classes during the opening days of school.

According to officials, one of the suspects -involved in the physical dispute- was charged with simple assault while police charged the other with simple assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.

Police say both suspects were processed and issued summons to appear in court before being released on their recognizance by 7:00 p.m.

According to police, the individuals occupying the vehicle -that had the officer draw the weapon in the first place- was released at the scene with no charges being filed.

Consistent with State of New Jersey protocols, the Montclair State University Police Department is submitting a “use of force” report to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office for an independent review of the incident according to police.

According to the statement, officials say they stand by the safety and security of the campus although their police department responded to over 7000 incident on campus last year.

Officials say The National Council for Home Safety and Security ranked Montclair State University the 16th safest campus in the United States of America.

This incident remains under investigation.

**IMAGE CREDIT:** Montclair State University