JUST IN: Howell Police Department releases statement on traffic stop incident

The Howell Police Department has just released the following statement to TLS regarding the recent incident.

“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.”

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  1. Im I actually seeing this!! Are they really justifying the officers actions!? Cmon she was in advanced labor at least escort them to the hospital and then write out a ticket! Inexcusable

  2. The cops should (moderated)!! When these (moderated) want to go through a red light l,they somehow always find a “emergency” to put their lights on. But to help a person is distress, that they can’t do?? You (moderated)!! Your job is to protect and keep the citizens safe! They use our tax money and do all this garbage! How about if the citizen we were talking about was a different type of minority… their would be protests galore and what not… #(moderated)

  3. Am still trying to figure out why they think keeping a woman in late stages of labor for 6 minutes is justified God forbid what could happen in six minutes common decency would be to escort them or at least let them go immediately and deal with the summons later. But judging from their response we might be asking for too much

  4. Figured there were two sides to the story…
    Guy should have waited for court to fight the ticket and hope the judge would be kind to him in light of the circumstances.
    Now with this whole fuss he made, he’s going you need a real good attorney to try to plea bargain the ticket.

  5. Why didn’t he offer medical right away, the driver mentioned advanced labor, 6 minutes is to long!

    Only after officer comes back to the car does he offer medical. Driver tries to flag him down during his emergancy, ignoring him is negligence! Not realizing a driver’s waving movements is dangerous!

    Holding them there for 9 minutes is inhumane!

    Publish the full video!

  6. I’m appalled that an officer can detain a woman in advanced labor for 9.5 minutes. They’re lucky he didn’t have to deliver that baby! Yes, they are to be commended for remaining respectful and polite throughout, but shame on this officer!! A woman in labor on the way to the hospital doesn’t want to wait for an ambulance, then get out of her car and have others transporting her, she just wants get to the hospital ASAP! And the officer’s only responsibility at that time was the make sure that happens!

  7. The officer did is job, correctly. If the woman passenger was in that much distress, she would have agreed to medical assistance. She did not. Stop fanning the flames and creating victims where none exist. 80 MPH in a 50 zone is outrageous.

  8. They didn’t make themselves look any better. If anything worse for justifying something so terrible.

    We are happy to hear the occupants arrived safely at the hospital and had a successful delivery. We wish them the best.” What’s if it wouldn’t have such a happy ending???

  9. The statement actually confirms the essence of the original story .

    The police held up a medical emergency for a few minutes instead of
    assisting .

    Far from vindicating the officers actions the statement highlights a gap in common sense discretion .

  10. Officer may be right for ticketing her but human decency would have been to escort her immediately to hospital then give a ticket at the appropriate time

  11. Anyone driving to the hospital in labor would know that Every second feels like a year in time. Secondly if they would have called The ambulance it would have taken 5 to 10 minutes for them to arrive so I would have chosen to go myself too . So to justify that it was OK because the conversation was civil is ludicrous . The officer should have sent them on their way and explain to them that they should be more careful driving.
    I love police officers and respect them dearly !

  12. SHOCKING!! Does the Howell Police department really expect all woman in advanced stages of labor to not get into their cars and patiently wait 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive!!??

  13. i understand the officers side of the story and believe it. the fact is its so hard to get pulled over when in labor. i wish there is a way that you can have the office mark it down in the computer and then follow you to the hospital and do the paper work there because its so overwhelming on the way to the hospital. u just want to get there already and know u are there

  14. Speaking from a woman, I have really quick labors and literally do not even have the extra 2 minutes to wait at a red light, let alone a traffic stop!!! I would never have been able to let my husband wait 6 minutes for the cop to return to my car. I think I would have ordered my husband to just speed off cuz I gotta get to that hospital asap and deal with the repercussions of those actions afterwards!

    • Unfortunately standard protocol when leaving a traffic stop is for the officer to call for reinforcement and chase you down and order you out of your vehicle with guns drawn and your hand up and behind your head. Even in advanced labor and especially in Howell.

  15. David – obviously – was never in labor. A woman in labor does not feel like transferring to an ambulance or anything. She just wants to get to the hospital without delay and without being moved or touched or even talked to.

  16. This cop is (moderated) ,when he pulled them over and they said she was in labor he shouldve offered an abulance right then instead of writing a ticket 1st , secondly let’s say he would’ve gave them an escort he would’ve been the biggest hero of all time and got his name out there and then Howell would’ve reported how good of a police department they have and how good their officers are and 3rd this cop was an anti-semite bec most cops would’ve gave the ticket later

  17. ARE THEY SERIOUS? It’s funny how they actually dug themselves an even deeper whole by verifying his story and thinking that it justified the officers action or lack thereof.

  18. I would love to ask the cop if he would’ve done different if it was his family he was driving while in labor… and if he says he would’ve gone 50 mph the whole time then we can assume he is a “very safe person…” id then like to know if he’s so safe then why didn’t he call an ambulance right away or at least explain to the driver that “hey, I’m gonna write you up and it will take a few minutes… would you like me to call an ambulance?’ instead of making a women in labor all nervous not knowing how long it will take to write the summons wait for you!!

  19. Firstly, If every woman in labor called an ambulance to get to the hospital Howells first aid would be swamped! Even Lakewood wouldn’t have enough resources to deal with all those extra calls (Over 3000 babies a year). Second, If something were outta happen to the kid or mom before they got to the hospital, the dept would be in a boatload of trouble. To those who have recommended going to the nearest hospital, circumstances require going to a specific facility. If a mom or child with a congenital defect or complication ends up in Brick, Kimball or even Jersey and not at their intended hospital, the likelihood of a poor outcome is greatly increased. The dept needs to address this issue immediately before this turns into a more serious scenario.

  20. If the Howell police would have kept their mouth closed (or keyboard) then they would have looked better because one can doubt the story when only hearing it from the “victim”. Now that they did open their mouth, and corroborated the exact story that the passenger claimed, they look terrible.

    Here’s why: Can we all agree that delivering a baby on the side of the road is dangerous? If there are any complication then they are without the support of hospital staff and its equipment. It is therefore a risk to life (mother and baby) to give birth on the side of the road. That being said, a women in advanced labor, and not yet in the hospital, would constitute an “EMERGENCY”. Should a person not brake the law and speed to the hospital in an emergency? Why do ambulances speed in emergencies? Why do POLICE speed in emergencies? If a call comes out “cop shot” should a police officer drive the speed limit to get there to provide assistance, or should he speed to get there?
    There seems to be a double standard, where emergencies only count for some and not for others.

    Shame on the Howell officer who executed such poor judgement.

  21. In every job, there are rules and regulations. There are also times when common sense is needed. There is an expression – rules are meant to be bent.
    I wonder if this officer ever had to take his wife in advanced labor to a hospital? Just like police cars speed in an emergency, sometimes there are times, when speed is a necessity.
    Calling an ambulance would have just taken time.
    As a woman where every minute counts in labor, this couple made the right judgement.
    I don’t know if this was anti-Semitism or just plain very poor judgement, but definitely not the right call.

  22. This story a real shanda. When I got pulled over for going too fast in an area that is not usually monitored by the police, the officer was giving one ticket after another and he must have spent about ONE minute to return to my vehicle and issue me the summons. In this case he should not have issued the summons but if he felt he just HAD to do it he should have rushed it. He said all the nice things and was nice to offer an ambulance, why wasn’t he so nice as to not issue the summons or to at least do it real fast?

  23. Like I posted in the original story, he should’ve left earlier or called Hatzolah since he was still pretty close to Lakewood. Better to wait 3 minutes for Hatzolah then to deliver by yourself on a dark road.
    Having said that; this story is pretty scary! you mean to tell me that the Howell official police line is that it is ok to make someone wait 10 minutes in a medical emergency!??!! REALLY?!?! Maybe in Jackson where if you call 911, Quality will (hopefully) show up in 45 minutes and Jackson PD thinks it’s ok to pull over first aiders on their way to a call to count how many lights they have. . But not in the rest of the world.
    I’m sorry Howell PD, but if this is your official mindset, you just justified the necessity of Hatzolah because there isn’t a jewish person in the world who can wrap their head around your reasoning.
    AND you better be happy everything turned out ok because no spin Doctor in the world would be able to put a positive spin on this one had things gone wrong!

  24. To david and everyone saying she shouldve agreed to an ambulance. I challenge you to be in advanced labor for 6 minutes plus the time until the ambulance arrives. Until then, keep your comments to yourself.

  25. It’s a huge issue that Lakewood residents don’t have a labor and deliver ward, which adds to the extreme pressure to go to the hospital being that it’s a 30-45 minute drive.

    • You can also deliver in Brick, Hackensack, NYU, Mount Sinai, Beth Israel, Maimonides, Belvue, Harris….. They oviously needed to get to Monmouth Medical Center because thats where their Dr. was.

  26. So did the po have an ambulance in his trunk?? So it would have taken at least 20 minutes for an ambulance to arrive… then baby would have been born there ( as indicated from time) that was a good decision and justified?? Totally ridiculous!!

  27. Officer should of be more understanding and let them go. He acted like a jerk and should make an apology. 6 minutes???

    And now you know why cops are hated so much…..This explains it.

    Be more understanding.

    If officer felt they needed a ticket he could of took out his phone, snapped a picture of the drivers ID and sent it in the mail. Shouldn’t of took more than 5 seconds.

  28. I’m in Monmouth now and my dr. Delivered that couples baby and he was very upset cause they gave birth less than 15 min after getting to the hospital.

  29. Howell Cops not looking very good today. Own up and take some responsibility instead of trying to wiggle your way out of negative public perception which only works when you admit your mistakes.

  30. I wonder what the Howell PD’s policy is when pulling over someone speeding to the hospital with a passenger suffering from a heart attack or another emergency requiring immediate medical care. The driver did not do his wife or himself any favors by arguing with the officer for almost three minutes after the summons was issued, however, that does not negate the fact that the Howell officer detained a woman in advanced labor for six minutes. The statement is a poor attempt to justify unjustifiable Howell PD behavior.

    Should have called Haztollah. Those people rock!

  31. Dear Officer Marotta,
    Here is some sane advice. Contact the couple and come tonight to their door with a baby present and apologize profusely for the way you handled the situation. It’s ok to make a mistake and you will be a man to admit it. By doubling down on what happened and trying to rationalize it, you are only digging yourself deeper. Just be thankful that nothing happened to that mother and baby or you and the howell police dept. would have been looking at a multi-million dollar law suit. It’s ok to say I’m sorry. I’m sure they will forgive you !!

    • hahahahah! are you kidding me? apologize for what? for protecting other drivers and the roads of Howell? what would have happened had this couple had an accident and it was found out they were speeding? you’d probably want the cop blamed for not stopping them…this is the funniest thing i’ve read all day..thanks of the laugh!

      • If this is the funniest thing you read today then you either have an extremely poor sense of humor or you should start reading more. I don’t see anything funny about this. They also could’ve fallen asleep at the wheel or perhaps decided to take out a bottle of alcohol and decided to drink and drive or, or, or, or whatever else you can come up with. What are you talking about?

      • Mr. L,
        Protecting the other drivers was never your intention as there was nobody else on the road that night. Now, you may have saved their lives by stopping them which is OK – It’s what you did after the fact that is a problem. Making a woman in advanced labor wait 9.5 or even 5 minutes is NEVER acceptable.
        Oh and take a poll of all your buddies in the locker room. I’d like the name of any cop in the State who can testify that he ever drove less than 30 over the limit while taking his family member to the hospital.
        Be a man! fess up and apologize!

      • Yeah, you wouldn’t be laughing if some harm came to the mother or child. But, on second thought, from the tone of your reply, perhaps you would be….
        Officer Marotta, do the right thing like I wrote above. You will go from being scorned to being a man INSTANTLY.

    • Dave did not say the Dr. told anyone. Dave stated a fact and most probably the mom or dad told him. in addition they happen to have the same Dr.

  32. Just a quick ‘pile on’ question. Was this officer waiting on Squankum (We all know where they wait…) for speeders at 11:47 p.m.? I’m thinking that this is a terrible waste or resources. The story doesn’t seem to indicate if the officer was stationary or patrolling prior to initiating the stop.

  33. As a medical professional I am astounded that the Howell Police Department considers this an appropriate response to a medical life and death emergency. The chief of the department should be brought in and officially censured and his officer should be severely reprimanded (and perhaps put on desk duty) for their reprehensible and life endangering conduct towards this woman in active labor.

    The ONLY correct response would have been to have given them a lights and siren emergency escort to the hospital or put husband and wife in his car and drive them there himself with lights and sirens.

    There is NO TIME to wait for an ambulance. A mother and baby can die while waiting. Delivering in a car is not an option. What if she began to hemorrhage? What if the cord was around the baby’s neck? What if the baby was in distress? Six minutes can be forever and be the difference between life and death.

    This was not the time for polite niceties either. The couple should have left the officer standing on the street, if he wasn’t going to offer immediate assistance to get them to the hospital, and proceeded directly to the hospital. Let him explain to the Doctors in the E.R. that he was trying to hold them back to give them a summons.

    As soon as he saw that the woman was in labor, he should have run back to his car, put on the lights and sirens and had them follow him to the hospital or taken them in his car.

    If this is not the official procedure for the Department, then it’s time for the protocol to be changed.

  34. Having been in quick labor more than once. Hatzoloh has always arrived in minutes with a doctor to accompany us. One of my in-laws delivered in the ambulance. There is only one final decision to make now: Sue the HPD and see what the judge says. He will have to look at all the evidence, the deposed statements and case law and decide. Comments here are really moot from all opinions until then.

  35. Wow talk about a community lashing out once again against someone who did their job, showed compassion and offered assistance. But because it wasn’t what the other party wanted the officer gets attacked.

    Was the passenger really in “advanced labor?” Maybe they would have been at less risk if they just called an ambulance in the first place from their residence. Then they wouldn’t have gotten the ticket.

    People hate the police until they’re needed. And come on…a law suit because the officer did his job? Grow up!

  36. Howell’s response reflects an absence of any emotional intelligence (EQ).

    Sounds as if robotic policing is already here. We are being told that all robotic actions in compliance with department protocol are justified.

  37. Good job Dave and tomato face are you normal?? The point at hand is that number one even if you are to ticket someone, theirs a way to do it. Number 2, cops don’t know the rules themselves. This cop like most cops was a obnoxious and arrogant fool! When was the last time they actually listened to the laws themselves?? Fools fools and fools.

  38. Somehow a parking ticket takes less than a minute if you leave your car parked illegally. Yet a speeding ticket for a woman in labor takes 9.5 minutes.

    At least do it quickly and let them go…

  39. Mr L-go thru 9.5 mins of advanced labor and then we’ll see if your still laughing.

    Good job-your’s has got to be the dumbest comment i have ever seen. you cant fake advanced labor and if she delivered within 40 mins then she was definitely in advanced labor. I’m willing to bet you are one of the anti-semites from jackson or toms river or howell.

    Fl-i’m a different anon (i changed it) i’ve never commented before, but having been in this situation and reading people’s asinine judgements of the victim i felt i had to

  40. It’s a miracle that nothing happened
    To bad we can’t say it was Very bad judgment on the cops part
    Because his superiors are justifying it!!!!


  41. To all readers and most particularly to all commentors,

    please be aware that this site is a very liked site amongst our Jewish community here as well as amongst our non Jewish neighbors in Lakewood, Brick, Jackson and Howell serving as a source of crucial info etc. And not to forget – read by our devoted police officers too.

    This particular episode should have been dealt with the proper askanim and lawyers who can PRODUCTIVELY help and guide to get the charges reviewed with the help of the law, common sense and heart.

    To all commentors whose comments are just judging and condemning the police officer or the driver with the limited background knowledge of the episode and no helpful contribution to either side – PLEASE KEEP QUIET. If you have nothing helpful to say- say nothing.

    Your words are stuck to the site. All Lakewood and neighboring residents are reading it. The responsibility is on you. We are in Galus, the comfort and the Medina Shel Chessed will last as long as you take good care of it and act reciprocally.

    If you feel something has to be done or you have help to offer – contact TLS, they will make sure your help will arrive to its proper destination. Writing insults in a situation where we clearly miss a lot of information is unfortunately creating the opposite of a Kiddush Hashem and the consequences are too great for you to carry on your shoulders.

    Kol Yisrael areivim zeh lozeh – bit please take a second and reflect before you write as those words post and will not be erased – nor on the site nor in the people’s mind. Do not let impulse and the speed of todays communication methods take over.

    Thank you!

  42. So the cop needlessly keeps a woman in advanced Labor waiting 9 Minutes to write a Ticket and Now she should wait another 15 minutes for an Ambulance to come from this same Howell Police department who needlessly puts her life and her unborn baby’s life in Danger what else should she do wait for the cop to go to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts to get himself a Coffee

  43. We need to bear in mind that we are very spoiled because we have the quickest responding First Aid in the country. It’s called Hatzalah. They are the fastest and best in the country by far. Let’s say it like it is. Countless lives are saved all the time BECAUSE we are not waiting for a local ambulance squad that literally would take TEN times the amount of time to respond and treat. To deny that would be denying clear facts.
    So remember that when this Officer was offering to call an ambulance, there’s a big chance that the situation could have deteriorated greatly by the time the ambulance arrived.

  44. O so after 10 minutes of holding her up, he should call an ambulance and wait another 10 minutes till they come???? That makes sense only to ruthless cops!!!

    No more donations to Howell!

  45. I’m not sure why some people fail to realize that the issue here is that the officer held them up instead of letting them go right away, being that it was an emergency. No one said the officer shouldn’t have pulled them over. Whether or not he should’ve ticketed them is arguable depending on how you look at what should rightfully be ticketed as a careless overlook of the law or how you define an emergency. No one else’s wife or children were in danger, give me a break! Why is it more safe for an ambulance, fire truck or police car to speed 100 mph than a civilian, granted that the training is there, an emergency doesn’t become less an emergency because he doesn’t have lights and sirens.
    HE WAS DRIVING NORMALLY UNTIL HIS WIFE URGED HIM TO SPEED UP! Did anyone read those words?!?! Who would stop on the side of the road and say, “I’m sorry honey but we’ll have to call an ambulance in order to get there faster because I’m sure you understand that I can not go over 50 mph. SERIOUSLY?!?!

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