Don’t speed on Squankum Road in Howell. Even if your wife is in labor. Because you will get a ticket.
That was a lesson that one Lakewood man learned the hard way, according to reports in the Asbury Park Press (http://on.app.com/2mREwtM) which had police refuting accusations that a member of the Howell Police Department had acted insensitively during the traffic stop.
According to a statement released by the Howell Police Department, the Lakewood husband and wife were on their way to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch just before midnight on November 14th because the woman was in labor and had been told by her doctor to hurry to the hospital. The couple had been traveling at a normal rate of speed but when they hit Squankum Road, the woman told her husband that she felt that the baby was going to be born soon.
“I became quite frantic so I automatically picked up speed without realizing I was going way over the speed limit,” the husband wrote in the official statement filed by police.
Patrolman Anthony Marotta pulled over the couple’s 2010 Toyota Sienna at 11:57 PM, and after telling the driver that he was doing 80 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone, he was informed that the wife was in advanced labor.
According to Marotta, his conversation with the driver lasted under a minute and when he returned to the car six minutes later, he asked the couple repeatedly if he should call an ambulance, refusing their request for a police escort because it violated department policy. Marotta said that the entire exchange took nine minutes and 29 seconds.
But the husband told a different side of the story, saying that the patrolman was brusque, refusing to listen to his pleas, and that it took almost 15 minutes for Marotta to return to the car with the speeding ticket.
The husband reported that the baby was born at 12:35 AM on November 15th, shortly after the couple arrived at the hospital, which is located approximately 20 miles away.
The Howell Police Department defended Morotta’s actions, saying that they were able to determine the length of the traffic stop and the nature of the interaction from surveillance footage obtained from the patrol car and Marotta’s body camera. Any accusations against the patrolman were baseless, said police.
“The officer acted appropriately and any suggestion that the officer’s conduct was improper, unprofessional or inhuman simply contradicts the video evidence,” said the statement.
Police commended the couple and Marotta for remaining courteous and respectful throughout the traffic stop adding, “we are happy to hear the occupants arrived safely at the hospital and had a successful delivery. We wish them the best.”
Below video shows police at the Traffic stop.