A 41-year-old Hoboken man was charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child after hours-long negotiations with law enforcement led to the safe recovery of his five-year-old son, according to Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante and sources with knowledge of the situation.
Early this afternoon, Hoboken police received reports of a possible endangered family on the 700 block of Garden Street, Ferrante told media at an impromptu address at the corner of 9th and Garden Streets this evening.
Initial attempts to make contact with the family was made by Hoboken police as well as other agencies including the state Department of Child Protection and Permanency and Mobile Crisis.
Around 2:30 p.m., Hoboken police began a second round of attempts to make communications with the family.
Within an hour, a determination was made to attempt to enter the building based on the information officers had at hand. Once the Hoboken police attempted to enter the door, it was determined that there were multiple people inside the home.
Their ESU team stopped their entry and crisis and hostage negotiators from the Hudson County Regional Swat Team were called to the scene.
Negotiators and Hoboken Police Lt. Melissa Gigante were initially unable to make contact with others inside, however, one adult woman was safely removed from the house at approximately 3:30pm.
At that time, it was unknown what was transpiring inside the building, but it was confirmed that a 5-year-old boy was still inside. The Hudson County Regional Swat Team was then deployed to the scene as Hoboken PD’s ESU remained around the building.
After several hours and multiples types of attempts to make communication with the adult man inside, a determination was made to make entry into the house.
Shortly before 7 p.m., the Hudson County Regional SWAT team entered the house and safely removed a five-year-old boy, who sources familiar with the investigation identified as the arrestee’s son – who is now in safe custody with his mother
The SWAT team also took the father into custody without injury to him or any law enforcement officer.
“The most important thing that happened here today: it was patience, there was communications done, utilizations of any resource that we had, and amazingly, with as much concern as we had going into 7 p.m., we got this five-year-old out safely and we have somebody in custody … safely,” the chief added, noting that the suspect was removed via ambulance.
Ferrante also said he wouldn’t personally characterize the incident as a hostage situation, despite other law enforcement members referring it to as such, instead calling it “a possible dangerous situation” at this time – later noting that no weapons were involved.
” … The creation of the Hudson County Regional SWAT team by [County] Prosecutor [Esther] Suarez, once again results in a peaceful and successful ending due to the skills, training and leadership of this team!,” Ferrante said after the presser this evening.
He also credited Gigante, Sgts. Chris LaBruno and David Olivera, the ESU team under the supervision of Sgt. Luke Zeszotarski, and the police detectives under Capt. Gino Jacobelli for their efforts this evening.
“I’m very grateful to all of our law enforcement personnel, including the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and it’s Regional SWAT Team, our Emergency Service Unit, detectives and police officers for going above and beyond responding to the scene of a highly dangerous situation tonight,” noted mayor Ravi Bhalla.
“Thanks to their quick and provisional response, all individuals are physically safe. My thoughts are with the victims of the unfortunate incident.”
The name of the man charged, along with other specific details, will be released in the coming days, Ferrante also said.
However, sources have since identified the suspect as Michael Marshalek, one of several who angrily spoke out against a proposed ordinance that would enable a $250 fine for not wearing a face mask at the August 19th city council meeting (the measure was voted down).
“I want you guys to pay close attention: fascism will not be tolerated here. We are tired of being oppressed. We the people demand to be left the f*** alone: you are suppressing the people, putting people in fear, subverting the mainstream media with a mediated false reality of science with these fake hoaxes to control the minds of the people,” he said at the time.