Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante urged the City Council to budget for 100 officers to be on duty for Halloween weekend next year after the partying got out of hand last week – with incidents that included cops getting punched in the mouth and tased.
After noting that the police department still has $167,000 remaining in their overtime budget, Ferrante said that Halloween being on a Saturday, along with turning the clocks back, led to a serious upsurge in police incidents.
“With about 50 officers in the street, we felt we’d be able to control the situation … [but] we came across things that we usually only see on Lepre-con,” he stated, referring to the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl.
From 8 p.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday, Hoboken police responded to a whopping 186 calls for service, Ferrante said.
Between the two days, police made 13 arrests, including a near riot situation at Cluck-U that involved 30 people – where an officer needed stitches after getting punched square in the mouth.
“We had a near riot situation at Cluck-U, on 1st and Washington Street, at about 3 a.m. in the morning, where about 30 individuals were fighting. First two officers responded to the scene, they see somebody being victimized in a case of aggravated assault.”
“The two of our young officers take the individual down. The victim then is trying to crawl over the officers to get to the initial actor. And as officer John Quinones turned around to put that victim back, that victim punched officer Quinones directly in the mouth, causing a laceration from his lip up to his nose,” which required stitches.
Ferrante continued down a laundry list of police incidents, including drug arrests, a stolen cash register, shots fired, strong arm robbery and intoxicated disorderly persons.
As has already been well-publicized, there was also a bizarre situation where a citizen tazed an off-duty police officer at a popular pizzeria next to the Teak night club.
Ferrante concluded by stating a zero tolerance policy needs to be enforced during Halloween weekend in Hoboken, the same way it is during Lepre-con, stating flat out that last week’s holiday weekend got out of control and 50 officers on duty was simply not enough.