Four Brigantine Police Officers were assaulted and sustained minor injuries in two separate, unrelated incidents that occurred on Thursday September 4, 2020. The incidents occurred within six hours of each other at two different locations.
At approximately 1:15PM, officers responded to a residence on Lafayette Blvd for a report of a disturbance. During their investigation, Joseph F. Mason III, a 27-year-old from Atlantic City engaged Officers Craver, Blake and Ludy in a physical altercation. Mason punched and kicked at officers and continued to resist arrest causing injuries to all three officers. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on police officers, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief, and resisting arrest.
At approximately 7:50PM, officers responded to the Brigantine Inn located at 1400 Ocean Avenue for another disturbance. Their investigation led to Elisha E. Merritt of Elmira, New York being placed under arrest.
While Officer Sprague was escorting Merritt into the rear of his police car, Merritt kicked Officer Sprague in the chest. While in custody, Merritt made threats to officers including the threat that he would strangle Officer Sprague to death.
In addition to charges from the original call for service, Merritt was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.
The men and women of the Brigantine Police Department are professionals who are dedicated to answering their calls for service with care and compassion, and we will continue to treat members of the public with empathy and dignity. We will not, however, tolerate any acts of violence toward our police officers. Officers will use lawful force to protect themselves and other members of the public, and anyone who assaults our officers will be arrested and charged accordingly.
***These charges are merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases a charged defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty***