A judge has ruled to suppress evidence in a case where a Hoboken man was accused of endangering his five-year-old son back in October 2020.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Hudson County Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez granted Michael Marshalek’s motion to suppress evidence on August 10th, just over a month after hearing testimony from Lt. Melissa Gigante, Sgt. Dennis Figueroa, Investigator Stephanie Jerez, and Faikum Marshalek (Michael’s wife).
On October 16th, 2020 Hoboken ESU and the Hudson County Regional SWAT Team broke down the door at 736 Garden St. after several failed attempts to make contact with the family who may have been endangered, officials said at the time.
“Lt. Gigante ‘was concerned, based on the comments that [Defendant] was making about the mask policy and things of that nature, and [Lt. Gigante] wasn’t confident enough that he was going home to have his child get on the computer,’” the ruling highlights.
“”Lt. Gigante was shown a video of the interaction between herself and Defendant. When asked if Defendant yelled she clarified, ‘[h]e didn’t yell.’”
She also testified that on October 15th, she had a conversation with Michael Marshalek outside of his son’s school and informed him of the statewide face mask policy, leading to a tense interaction where he was clearly frustrated after being told his child could not be in school without a mask.
That same day, the Hoboken PD Mobile Crisis Unit and New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency responded to their home since officer believed there may be a “neglect of education,” but ultimately took no action.
The following day, after multiple attempts to reach the defendant were unsuccessful, approximately 24 officers followed Gigante to his house and made a forced entry into his home.
She also indicated that Faikum Marshalek was escorted out of the home by police since “she was in an excited state” and she eventually requested an ambulance.
Figueroa corroborated the majority of what Gigante said, noting he had no interaction with the family on October 15th, 2020, as well as that Malani Cademartori, a board of education trustee, was the one who expressed concern about the family to police.
According to the court ruling, her nanny was friends with Faikum Marshalek and didn’t hear from her for a month and that the lights at their home were always off.
Galis-Menendez wrote that given that their was no warrant obtained in the situation, it would have to meet the emergency aid doctrine – which she said was not the case here.
“This Court also finds that the officers did not have a reasonable basis to believe there was an emergency, considering that after the first forced entry, officers remained in the hallway for two hours before breaking into Defendant’s room and removing him and N.M [his son],” her ruling says.
“Mrs. Marshalek, who officers spoke with, gave no indication that she feared for her son’s life and told officers that she had no reason to believe that Defendant would harm his son. Further, she testified that Defendant ‘loves his son very much’ and ‘does everything for the family.’”
She further stated that the conversations between the neighbor and police, as well as fellow police officers, did not show any indication that this was an emergency.
“The information received from the neighbor was neither reliable, nor did it indicate a clear and present danger. The conversation between officers reveals that they were even unconvinced of the neighbor’s concerns. Officers had no information that N.M. was in any danger,” the judge concluded.
Michael Marshalek filed a tort claim in January 2021 allegedly that he was falsely arrested and wrongfully imprisoned, as HCV first reported, though is yet to follow up with a lawsuit.