“An internal review was conducted, including a review of video from the vehicle and body worn camera. The civilians’ names have been left out to protect their privacy.
On November 14, 2017 at 11:57pm, Howell Police Department Patrolman Anthony Marotta #179, conducted a motor vehicle stop on a 2010 Toyota Sienna on Route 547 (Squankum Rd.) between Maxim Rd. and Old Tavern Rd. for speeding (78mph in a 50mph zone).
Ptl. Marotta approaches the driver and requests driving credentials as the operator explains that his wife, who is in the passenger seat, is in “advanced labor”. Upon receiving the documents the operator explains that the doctor told them to go to the hospital. Ptl. Marotta explains that he was stopped for doing “almost 80 in a 50”. This exchange lasted about forty seconds.
Cpl. Marotta returns to his vehicle, fills out a summons for speeding and returns to the operator’s vehicle within six minutes of the initial conversation. As Ptl. Marotta approaches the operator he asks him if they would like an ambulance to respond to the scene. The operator and passenger decline and ask for a police escort, which the officer properly declines as that would be a violation of departmental policy. He asks the occupants again if they want an ambulance, to which the female passenger in labor responds, “No I do not want an ambulance”. The officer responds, “Are you sure?” and she replies “Yes”. Ptl. Marotta again offers assistance stating, “I can call them and they can at least follow you or take you up there”. The female then calmly asks the officer if they can “just go” to which the officer responds “Ok” and gives the operator instructions on calling the court regarding the summons. He also cautions the operator on speeding on the roadway adding to the risk of getting in an accident and not getting to the hospital especially, “tonight there’s a lot of deer out”. Ptl. Marotta insists on calling an ambulance but they decline again. (Moderated due to sensitivity.) The operator, not the officer, then prolongs the stop asking who he can call to “explain the situation” and address the ticket despite reports to the contrary. The entire stop from start-to-finish took 9 minutes 29 seconds.
The interaction during the stop was polite and respectful. Both the operator of the vehicle, his pregnant wife and the officer were calm, respectful and courteous to one another. We certainly understand how stressful the moments leading up to birth can be, especially on a woman, and we commend them for their respectful demeanor under the circumstances. However, the officer acted appropriately and any suggestion that the officer’s conduct was improper, unprofessional or inhumane simply contradicts the video evidence.
We are happy to hear the occupants arrived safely at the hospital and had a successful delivery. We wish them the best.”
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)