Retired LPD Detective Responds To Erroneous Comment

billy_addison_tls_picEarlier today, TLS posted and article with an attached video of a careless driver on Clifton Avenue. One of the comments posted read, “About 14 or 15 years ago there was a frum couple that was arrested in middle of sheva brachos for making a u turn on Clifton ave. The overzealous cop wasn’t satisfied to give them a ticket. He promptly arrested them and they spent a few hours in jail-in middle of sheva brachos! All for a u-turn”.

A short time ago, we received an email from retired Detective Lieutenant William Addison who vividly recalls the incident and all the details surrounding it. The following is William’s account of the story.

Although it is true that the couple were arrested after being stopped for making a U-turn on Clifton Ave between 1st & 2nd, the reason for the arrest was not the traffic violation but that the car was listed as being stolen in NCIC. The officer, having graduated the police academy just two months before, did as he was taught and arrested the couple for possession of stolen property. 

They were brought to headquarters and, after the gentleman was processed, I – as the Watch Commander – was notified. The rookie explained that he was in a quandary as the last name of the woman was the same as the owner and reportant of the theft. I immediately went to the woman, who explained that – because of the status of her marriage – she should not be alone without another woman present. 

I interrupted my contact with her and went to the front of police headquarters and enlisted the aid of an apparent frum woman. To my relief, she agreed to assist. 

We then went back and spoke to the detained woman. She did not have any identification in her married name (which is not unusual during the beginning weeks of a marriage). She was able to give us contact information for her father (the owner) and the information that he worked for NYPD. The new officer was given the task of following up on the information. 

I then went and spoke to the male who related that he could not see well without his glasses. I also observed that he did not have a head covering on. I retrieved both his yarmulke and his eyeglasses and returned them to him. 
By this time, many leaders from the community arrived and were allowed contact with the couple which quelled any fears. As we awaited the results from NYPD, we collaborated on a resolve. NYPD reported back that their employee did notify someone that the car was recovered but that person never cleared the vehicle from the stolen file. The couple were released with the gentleman receiving a TOWNSHIP ORDINANCE violation (no five points – lower fine).
Several Jewish publications documented the story with kudos to the LPD for the handling of this matter.

Just had to get this off of my chest!! Thanks.

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  1. people just type in any comment what they think is right without thinking how hurtful their words may be, or is there really any truth to what they say. Think twice before you type!

  2. its sad that the captain retired. he understood our comunity. but as you can see they took away his yarmulka. what officer removes a yarmulka for a religious jew is lacking ethical and community diversity training.

    this i doubt would happen today under chief lawson and what i believe new LPD officers hopefully gte some ethical training ethical and community diversity training.


  3. nice to still hear from you (capt 🙂 ).

    just shows how much you like working with ppl regardless of their backround.

    the fact you cared and bothered to let the truth be known, is just another attribute of what a mentch you are.
    we really miss having you work with us.
    maybe you will surprise us and rejoin one day.

    a friend

  4. I have known Billy for many years and consider him a friend. He is honest and doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He was a great asset to our town. I wish him well in his future endeavors.

  5. I would have respected the cop more if he arrested them for a u turn then for a stolen car. You must always use common sense and not think that this new couple met @ some car jacking convention!!

  6. There is something called protocol! Besides, the first thing I was thinking was insurance fraud-that is was reported stolen but was not. Why should the PD not suspect something like that? Thank G-D that’s not what it was and the car truly was stolen, simply never updated in police records…..

  7. Thanks Lieutenant Addison(well I guess, retired Lt.)for taking the time to clarify. People sometimes hear half a story and jump to conclusions. I never heard the first half 🙂

  8. why did they have to retrieve his glasses and yarmulka – no mention was made of taking it away!! as if it is normal not to have glasses – they just ‘glossed’ over that part – it’s nice every one is commending this officer but obviously something more than just a mistake was involved if his glasses and yarmulka were taken – i can’t believe it’s just accepted – how can this be normal? anybody with glasses should realize it was mean and humiliating!

  9. ok…here’s the truth, exactly how it happened. the couple were driving and made a u turn on clifton avenue. the cop pulled them over and asked for documentation. the couple admitted that they had made a uturn, but said that they were driving her parent’s car and did not have the registration or insurance on them. he then went back and called the information into “headquarters” and in doing so GAVE THE WRONG LICENSE NUMBER. this vehicle had never been reported stolen by the owner. the cop, or perhaps the person inputting it into the computer, made a mistake. later on when this mistake was realized, new jersey said that new york made the error, and new york said the mistake was new jersey’s. (the car was a new york car that was being driven to lakewood just for the day) the reality is that Lieutenant Addison was a “mentch” and tried to deal with it efficiently and properly, but the arresting officer was way out of bounds, and definitely an anti-semite. not because he stopped them for making a u-turn. they were wrong and should have gotten ticketed, and the should have even been issued a summons for not having proper documentation. however the public arrest, in the middle of clifton avenue, for incorrect information, that was ridiculous. this young couple did not fit the profile of dangerous car thieves, and that should have been obvious to anyone with common sense (as it was obvious to Addison)

  10. and by the way, his yarmulka, glasses, shoelaces, and tzitsis were all taken away. i guessed they were afraid it posed a danger to himself or others. you never know when you may get attacked by a stray yarmulka or strangled by a pain of tzitsis!

  11. When will people understand that the police, like it or not, have a job to do. Although many of them respect Jewish law, there primary concern are the Laws of the State of NJ. A police officer can never win. No matter what his decision is someone will not be happy.

    PS……what does a car thief look like, or a murderer or any other criminal? It’s good thing stupidity isn’t a crime or some people on here might have to worry.

  12. Lakewood scoop should be commended for putting the truth out even after fifteen years.

    A story like this proves once again that many things we hear on a daily basis are either straight out lies or exaggerated.

    How many times do we hear rumors and before we know it people walk around saying something is true when it is not.

    Just a few weeks ago someone was accused of something and entire communities from different neighborhood were and still are ready to lynch an innocent person but nobody cares because the only thing people are saying is it has to be true because “everyone” is saying so!

    We are so quick to convict people based on what others say but when someone is innocent I never hear a word of an apology or an entire coomunity saying the the three hardest words int he english dictionary-We were wrong!

    Lakewood scoop is classy for putting a story like this out.

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