Lakewood, NJ – Howell Police Releases Footage, Defends Officer’s Actions In Traffic Stop Of Expectant Jewish Couple

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    Lakewood, NJ – A word to the wise.

    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.

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    20 COMMENTS

    1. What meshuganah drives 80 mph at night on a highway, with his wife who is in labor? He could have crashed the car, killing his wife and unborn child, and possibly lost control, and crashed into another car, and killed someone else. He was a darn fool for waiting until the last minute to bring his wife to the hospital, when he should have gone hours earlier!

    2. The officer might be 100% right on paper. But if an officers pulls someone on his/her way to the ER at a speed they would drive to an emergency you help them more then just offering an ambulance. let alone give a ticket.
      In any case its never a good idea to speed it puts you and others in danger.

      • #2 you are” on the money “.Yet I don’t know what all the fuss is about .I left Lakewood almost 40 yrs ago ,and Howell Police were notorious for issuing summons’ for going 1 mile above 50 on the 9 . So don’t put your,or anyone else’s life in danger or risk getting a summons ,and obey the speed limit .

    3. 2nd time in a matter of months that a incident is blown out of proportion.Watching the video the cop seemed very professional.Driver didn’t give any indication of drama or imminent danger he also declined an ambulance.He should’ve called Hatzalah & not put his pregnant wife at risk. What if birth was in his car?Can he handle it? מזל טוב but save the drama when we really need it otherwise we won’t be taken seriously. Let’s stop crying to the askonim because we wanna show who’s boss, gives us a bad name.

    4. The cop refused to provide a police escort because I thought was against department policy .

      We have become such a stupid senseless country. There are times when common sense should trump the law . Cop should break the damn policy . You have someone in labor for g-d sake . And a little piety via knocking off the ticket due to humanitarian reasons would go a long way . Cold people . So sad

    5. educated archy: I found this from a few years ago. Maybe we aren’t senseless.

      Here is a response by a police officer to the question “Can someone driving a woman in labor be issued a ticket for speeding?”

      Yes we can.

      There are a few factors to consider:
      Letting you go to continue driving in an unsafe manner (i.e., your speeding) is not good for anyone; not you, the mother, the baby, or all the other mothers and babies out there using the same roads.
      Just telling you to “FOLLOW ME!!!” as I drive lights and sirens through red lights and busy intersections is not much safer. Hell, it’s dangerous enough just for me to do it, and I have been trained to do it, and have the equipment to do it — you have neither.

      Add to that the fact you’re jacked up on adrenaline. Your chances of being involved in a serious traffic crash are pretty high. And then it would be my fault. And this does not even consider whether my department policy forbids emergency escorts (which it does).
      The mother/baby team could encounter medical problems, and though I have delivered babies before, it was not by choice. We need to get medical personnel involved sooner rather than later.

      snip…..

      • Let’s say you are right with all your facts (but if your wife is in labor, these rules won’t apply, I promise) but to hold up the person and issue a summons, is wrong. I’ll say it again either the cop is an an anti Semite or a jerk. Tell me in which law book it says to issue a summons for speeding to a person who is taking a women in labor to he hospital.

        • Why is the cop an anti-semite and/or a jerk if it was the motorist who acted foolishly and recklessly. (And bandying about accusations of anti-Semitism is also foolish and reckless).
          Through this ticket and the publicity surrounding it the cop may actually be saving lives in the future. People may think twice before resorting to driving their wife to the hospital when there may not be enough time to do it safely.

      • Oh you bet we are senseless and your response from that police officer just shows how senseless we are . It makes zero sense.

        For starters why not just tell them to FOLLOW ME? You argue because its dangerous enough for the cop to drive with lights and sirens. Firstly who says that its dangerous? I would venture to say in a way its safer. When vehicles hear Lights and sirens they stop form a mile away. Go check car vehicle accidents and data and measure the rate of accidents for a cop vs a citizen especially late at night. More importantly, assuming you are correct that its dangerous so why not FOLLOW HIM without lights and sirens? Follow as a regular citzen. What’s the point you ask? The point would be that in case there is an emergency or delivery on hand, the cop can ensure safety for the passengers.
        Next you argue that the fact that one is jacked up on adrenaline and is more pron to accidents. Isn’t that an argument again that the cop should indeed FOLLOW HIM? After all when is it a greater chance of an accident occurring? I would argue when there are no cops vs cops. Again let him FOLLOW HIM without speeding, lights and sirens.

      • “And this does not even consider whether my department policy forbids emergency escorts”
        That’s exactly my point , it’s a stupid policy that senselss and lacks emotions. And frankly, a cop should have brains to break with policy in that case

    6. Wow, I haven’t comment on the internet for years but this one I feel I need to. Something is wrong here. Every time there is anything negative about a yid it doesn’t take long to see all the self hate. This one itched me so badly so I went to YouTube to see the comments (go see for yourself) the sympathy of the goyim vs the hidden. Something is wrong. We should be shamed of ourselves.

    7. To #3 and #8-The two of you are both fools; this motorist placed his wife in danger, the life of his unborn child, his own life, and the lives of other motorists, and possibly pedestrians. It is idiotic to drive 80mph at night, under normal circumstances. According to Halacha, it is prohibited to do anything that jeopardizes one’s health or the health of others. Please don’t lecture me that “she went into labor suddenly”, or “I don’t know the circumstances”. The motorist could have called for an ambulance, as he was in no condition, mentally or physically, to safely drive his car, to the hospital. I’ve read of other cases,whereby people are having heart attacks, and they are too negligent to dial 911; instead, they attempt to drive themselves to the hospital, and either crash their cars, or endanger others.

    8. To all those that say the cop did nothing wrong, here’s my question….

      Would this cop have acted the same way if he pulled over someone who was driving his own wife or sister in active labor to the hospital?
      (remember, it is documented that this lady gave birth within minutes of arriving at the hospital)
      He would not have had them waiting 6 minutes cause he would not have even written a ticket.
      You can all guess what he would have done.
      Conversation over.

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