Op-Ed: NJ Cop Who Pulled Over Expectant Lakewood Couple Lacks Decency, Respect [VIDEO]



The following was written by Judi Franco – NJ 101.5 / Republished with permission

I am not one to bash police. But I’m also not surprised that a Howell police officer wouldn’t let a couple rushing to the hospital with the wife in the critical stage of labor off the hook.

Not because I have anything against the Howell police. In fact, I have met some and I’ve heard that as a whole the force is a group of really good guys.

The reason I am not surprised, though, is that some cops – just like some people in all walks of life – are real jerks. Drunk on their power, thrilled to be intimidating and scary and armed. And while I have been a huge advocate of the police for many years, throwing my support behind them almost every time the topic of law-enforcement comes up here on the air, this is the kind of police officer that gives all of them a bad name.

Now, I don’t know Anthony Marotto. Maybe in some aspects of his life he’s a nice guy. But he certainly doesn’t have the common sense or decency to wield that much power in his community.

I’m not even going to call him an anti-Semite, although I know many of you are expecting me to. No, I think it goes deeper than that. I think it goes to the core of how some police officers are down deep inside. Either they were bullied as kids, their family lives were dysfunctional, or their souls are just empty. But I’ve met too many good ones to not understand that something like this is unconscionable.

It seems to me that this guy had a vendetta, and I’m not sure why. Maybe somebody in his family died that day. Maybe he had a fight with his wife that day. Perhaps he had one of HIS family members hassled on the side of the road when THEY were in a dire emergency. (Although I doubt that.)

No — it’s worse than being anti-Semitic. It’s just being a mean and vindictive person. And vindictiveness is just about one of the worst traits you can have when you are charged with the responsibility of serving and protecting and caring a gun.

Do I (or should you) wish bad things on Officer Marotto? No, but I can’t help wondering why, unlike the good guys out there, he couldn’t take this couple’s particular situation into account when he made his decision to leave them sitting there waiting for their summons.

I can’t help thinking that perhaps he wanted them to be punished for some reason. Is a man whose wife is in the last stages of labor above the law? No. But it certainly makes you understand why many people hold resentment and anger toward police officers like Officer Marotto.

Wouldn’t it be horrible if one day Anthony Marotto had his wife, or his daughter, or his sister in the critical stages of labor with all of the anxiety, pain and fear associated with it, be stopped and held by a police officer with absolutely no compassion for her plight? Oh, wait … that will never happen because Anthony and his family probably have a get-out-of-jail-free card because their relative is a cop.

The Howell police, in remarking on the incident, said that the officer was “respectful”. I beg to differ. We are all human beings. Respect requires acknowledgement of this. Respect for other humans involves discretion, compassion for and thoughtfulness of others. And even though it seems that Anthony Marotto felt the need to treat this couple like criminals, our justice system even provides for a certain level of respect for criminals.

So, here is a message for the many police officers out there who don’t understand why the public shows disdain for and/or resentment toward them. Take a lesson from this situation: The public whom you are paid to serve and protect deserve respect. And Officer Anthony Marotto has a lot to learn about respect.

(Written By Judi Franco – NJ 101.5 / Republished with permission)


  1. I’m not saying that the cop shouldn’t have pulled them over to begin with. After all he could not have known that there was a lady in advanced labor in the car and they did happen to be going 23 mph over the speed limit. But once he learned of the circumstances he could’ve, and SHOULD’VE let them go right away! He wouldn’t have had anything to lose by doing that

  2. Funny – you see how Niskatnu Hadoros!
    E/o should read the comments on YWN in an article called -“Lakewood cop tickets Hatzolah member on a Call”, from 2009!

    He should’ve never let them proceed. Husband wasn’t in a proper state of mind to drive in particular at night and the high rate of speed. Officer should’ve called an ambulance immediately.
    I have 1 question for all the bashers What would you have said if they had an accident and someone would’ve gotten killed?
    “So, here is a message for the many police officers out there who don’t understand why the public shows disdain for and/or resentment toward them. Take a lesson from this situation: The public whom you are paid to serve and protect deserve respect. And Officer Anthony Marotto has a lot to learn about respect.”
    My message to the Police why the public shows disdain, because of writers like this article.

  4. It is not rocket science the right thing to do would be to caution the driver and then follow him to the hospital to ensure he didn’t speed any more. Certainly to issue him with a ticket was totally out of order.

  5. Perhaps living in the “big city” where unlit roads are are uncommon is clouding my perspective…

    If it was such an emergency that it required the husband to drive close to 25mph above the speed limit on a dark road at night, perhaps hatzalah should have been called. Perhaps it isnt the “emergency” we are being led to believe it was.

  6. I don’t understand, if it was so urgent why not wait for an ambulance? if you think they are going to be too long, call hatzolah. I don’t see why not allowing someone to do something dangerous is bad. No matter what the condition of his wife, driving so much over the speed limit is just not safe. The officer was polite and did his job. He can’t just say “yeah, I will let you go break the law and endanger yourself”

  7. most people here are assuming that the only people involved here are the cop and the couple, that is absolutely not true. while I sympathize with the couple in labor thought needs to be given to the other people on the road as well and there is no excuse to put other people’s lives in danger….so while I can appreciate the couple’s predicament I am pretty certain the husband was a lot more careful after getting that ticket….which would mean the ticket did it’s job. having a friend in the same situation who was niftar after getting into an accident on the way to hospital with his wife, I can pretty confident to say the officer was correct in issuing a ticket. hopefully this will be a reminder to all people in the future to be aware of the circumstances they are in and if need be call a friend to drive or make other arrangements.

  8. I disagree. I am very familiar with that road. It is not well lit, there are deer, and 78 is insanely fast for a two way one lane road. Maybe the cop could have let him off without a ticket, maybe not. But refusing an ambulance when in advanced stage of labor, 15 minutes from the nearest hospital?
    Change the ticket from a speeding violation to a lack of common sense, and putting his life, his wife’s, and unborn child’s life at risk.

  9. The officer was very decent and respectful. Watch the video and listen carefully. He offered over and over again to call an ambulance. The driver was mamash speeding in a dangerous area with wild animals on the road. He deserved to be stopped and ticketed. I agree that the only thing the officer did wrong was allowing him to continue driving. He should have called an ambulance and confiscated the driver’s licence. When will mamash heimishe folk understand that they no longer live in a little shtetel where als is gut.

  10. i watched this video and honestly, i don’t believe the officer believed the driver.
    i actually had a similar experience when my wife was in labor and we rushed to the hospital. the officer looked at my wife and saw that she was having contractions. i can’t see from this camera this driver’s wife or the officer’s angle.
    also the officer offered an ambulance. if he really believed this driver, he would’ve offered an ambulance before running his license, not just after.
    I don’t think the officer is ill intended but let’s face it, yehudim have many children bh so it’s probably very common for him to pull someone over that’s ‘running’ to the hospital. give him the benefit of the doubt to say that he can spot when he sees a lady in labor.

  11. Yitzchokm.
    Its quite obvious you dont know the dangers of the road he was on. Also for him not to have called hatzoloh before his trip or at least when he was stopped shows how blind the driver was to saychel hayoshor.
    For judy to not reprimand the driver is is insane. Granted the cop should not have given him a ticket but he should’ve forced the driver to take an ambulance.

  12. I am sure that the Howell Police officer regrets this whole thing. He is probably not sure at the present moment exactly how to apologize or how to correct this mistake. I honestly believe that those people who are trying to start a war with the Howell Police Department are making the mistake of their life. Many people forgot what Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky taught us, wearing a Tallis outside in the street without a coat might not be so advisable, we are guests over here. Also let us not forget the bigger picture, the Howell Police Department does lots and lots of good things, so 1 mistake should not take over the bigger picture. Let us correct other people the same way that we would like to be corrected.

  13. Wow everyone is really drinking the Police Brutality coolaid.

    The driver was speeding, under stress, and used the word “mamish” when doing a lousy job trying to tell the cop his wife was in labor. He then refused an ambulance and took some time to find out how to get the ticket thrown out with questions of who to call about the situation….

    How many years ago was it that a frum guy crashed and died driving his wife to a hospital?

    This is a stupid overreaction that will result in the police disliking the frum. Nothing else.

    So entitled we are.

  14. To :rchemtob
    …..i don’t think the officer is ill intended but let’s face it, yehudim have many children bh so it’s probably very common for him to pull someone over that’s ‘running’ to the hospital. give him the benefit of the doubt to say that he can spot when he sees a lady in labor.

    Yehudim have many kids bh and so do arabs, mexicans,m Mormons,amish african americans and many others.
    And Your point is what???

  15. Policeman are trained to make sure that we keep the law. They all too often attend scenes of accidents and have to witness the horrific results of human remains.
    Can we expect them to be רחמנים בני רחמנים?
    Speed is a killer. No one can dispute that.
    JF is no doubt correct about the מדות of some uniform wearer’s, but we are governed by a different set of rules such as …..חלול ה, ושמרתם את. etc. Not to mention, the reaction of the שוטרים, to what they read here and the consequential results for the next יהודי caught רחמנה לצלן.
    A healthy birth is the bottom line, and that’s all that matters.
    Before we anonymously publish our vilifying comments, let’s show them to a חכם.
    Would our Rov advise us to write anything which we are not willing to put our names under?

    If we want to be constructive, get a letter composed. Have it signed by as many as possible & send it to those in authority who will treat it with the respect that a decent, well composed appeal deserves.
    Veiter oif Simches.