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SAYREVILLE, N.J. — A Sayreville police officer used a conducted energy device on a 46- year-old borough man in order to prevent the man from attempting to kill himself.
The man, whose identity is being withheld, was taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy shortly after the conducted energy device was deployed at 12:27 p.m. on March 11, according to a press release from Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Sayreville Police Chief John Zebrowski.
Police responded to the man’s home at 10:48 a.m. to find him inside the home, allegedly holding a knife to his neck.
Police reported that they repeatedly attempted to convince him not to harm himself. At 11:16 a.m. police contacted the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Operations Response Team (SORT), which sent approximately 15 officers to the scene to cordon off the area, according to the release.
A member of SORT, trained and qualified to use the conducted energy device, was among those dispatched to the scene, while another SORT member continued negotiating with the man in an attempt to convince him to drop the knife, officials said.
At one point, the man reportedly began cutting his neck with the knife. Police decided to use the conducted energy device to prevent the man from further harming himself, and made the decision in accordance with guidelines established by the state Office of the Attorney General, which was notified of the incident, according to Kaplan’s release.
The man is being treated at the hospital for a self-inflicted injury to his neck, but his condition was not immediately available, reports said. No one else was injured during the incident.
The SORT officer who deployed the conducted energy device is one of about 60 law enforcement officers in Middlesex County who have undergone extensive training and have been qualified to use the devices, according to Kaplan’s statement.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office initiated training and offered a conducted energy device to each of the law enforcement agencies in the county under a program that began last year following implementation of guidelines by the Office of the Attorney General in October 2011.
No charges have been filed, but an investigation is active and is continuing.
Detective Sgt. David Lasko, of the Sayreville Police Department, confirmed that two elementary schools in proximity to the residence — the address of which was not released — were put on lockdown, though he did not specify which schools.
“We followed our protocol for student safety, and that was the reason for the lockdown,” he said.