Police chief: Jersey City man disarms Hoboken cop, injures 3, during arrest

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A Jersey City man disarmed a Hoboken police officer and injured three during a violent arrest early this morning, Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante said.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Lonnie Clark, 38, of Jersey City, was charged with burglary, theft, obstructing by flight, resisting arrest by force, disarming a law enforcement officer, and aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, Ferrante said this afternoon.

At 2:21 a.m. this morning, Hoboken Police Sgt. Donald Rosso was on patrol at Observer Highway and Henderson Street, near Kobrick’s Coffee Factory, on the Hoboken/Jersey City border, authorities said.

Rosso observed an individual break into the trunk of a 2019 BMW parked at that location.

As he approached the individual, he fled north towards the Observer Highway Firehouse. After a four block foot pursuit, Rosso, Officers Christopher Barral, Josh Campoverde, stopped the suspect at 56 Jefferson St.

At that time, a violent struggle ensued as the suspect fought the officers. Lt. Mike Costello, Sgt. Anthony Russo, and Officer Jesse Castellano arrived to assist with the attempted apprehension.

As the officers attempted to handcuff the suspect, he continued to push them away, grab them and to use his arms and legs to forcibly evade this arrest.

At one point during this struggle, the suspect grabbed Barral’s gun and began to remove it from his holster. The officer began to yell “he has my gun” repeatedly as he used all his strength to keep the suspect from gaining sole control of the firearm, officials said.

Russo and Campoverde then continue to struggle to try to keep the suspect from gaining full possession of the weapon, according to Ferrante.

After a long struggle and the use of mechanical force, the officers were finally able to secure Barral’s weapon, but the suspect continued his fight, attempting to grab the holsters of Russo and Campoverde, officials said.

The officers were finally able to get the suspect handcuffed. During the handcuffing, the suspect bit Russo on the shin.

Costello, Campoverde, and Barral all sustained injuries during the arrest. Costello and Campoverde were cleared to resume work on their next shift while Barral is out injured due to a hand injury which will be re-assessed in three weeks, the chief explained

“I cannot find the exact words that can adequately describe how proud I am of the valor, courage and professionalism showed by these officers during this scene. They all showed the true restraint from using deadly force, and they deserve the utmost credit for being able to accomplish this apprehension without using it, and without seriously injuring the suspect,” Ferrante said in a statement.

“Everyone needs to realize this criminal act, during a pandemic and State of Emergency, not only threatened the lives of the officers involved, but also brought extra exposures to those officers, the EMS workers who had to treat the suspect and officers, the Emergency Room staff who had to tend to them when there is so much more going on in there, the officers who then had to secure the suspect at the hospital, and then the officers who had to transport the individual to the Hudson County Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility in Kearny, and then those Corrections Officers who had to process him at the jail’s intake.”