Every once in a while you get one of those great
days, a day that doesn't seem like work.
November 28th was exactly that day for five
officers from Freehold Borough: Mark Garahan, Shaun Hobbs, John Reiff,
Jay Slatas, and Nick Iozzi.
On this date, they were assigned to attend a
tactical handgun course at the Somerset County Police Academy Range,
more than an hour away from their headquarters in the Monmouth County
Range days are usually great days, and this one was
no exception. The right mixture of personalities - especially with cops
- made the car ride up a back-and-forth of murderous insults, brutal
comebacks and a whole lot of laughing.
The class was outstanding which just topped off the
In late afternoon they set out for home and the
unavoidable battle against the Route 287 traffic.
At about 4:30 p.m. they were driving when Officer
Slatas noticed smoke coming from a house. Initially, they weren't sure
what it was, but they spun around to make sure everything was okay.
As they got closer, it became apparent what they
were facing: a working structure fire in a home.
In what must have been a bizarre moment, they
looked at each other and realized that they didn't even know where they
were. Cars kept driving by and it appeared that they were the only ones
who noticed what was happening.
But they set into motion.
Mark Garahan immediately began running to an
intersection in order to get the street names and call for assistance.
It turned out that they were on River Road in Piscataway.
The other four ran right for the house. The front
door was locked, so Iozzi kicked in the first of the two doors he would
be kicking in this day.
They eventually located a man in his bedroom who
had no idea the house was on fire.
According to the
The man told the officers there was another man
in the basement and a woman in an apartment on the other side of the
house. The officers located the man in the basement and moved him to
safety. “One door in [the] apartment was closed and hot to the
touch,” Roberts said. “After locating the fire, the officers made
sure no one else was in the apartment."
The officers eventually went to the back of the
house and found the woman, who was described as being incoherent. She
was also brought out to safety.
Piscataway emergency services showed up quickly and
extinguished the fire.
Also from the News Transcript:
Piscataway Police Chief Rick Ivone said Sgt.
Warren Morrison, Detective Dan Nee and Police Officer Jay Merrill
responded to the 911 call. He said arson is the suspected cause of
the fire, which remains under investigation.
After clearing the scene, the foolery most likely
began again for the ride home. But now, they would have a great story to
tell. They would later jokingly get the nickname, Delta Force 7.
NJLawman.com honors Freehold Borough Officers: