STAFFORD – A victim was involved in a road rage incident where the perpetrator pulled a gun on them. Then, police pulled the victim over with their guns drawn, mistakenly thinking the victim was the perpetrator.
The incident happened over the first weekend in June. According to Stafford police, it began with a road rage incident on Route 72 east in Barnegat. One of the parties involved allegedly brandished a handgun and was heading into Stafford Township.
Barnegat no longer has local dispatch, so the County Sheriff’s Department contacted Stafford to alert them.
Then, Stafford police pulled the victim over in a Wawa parking lot. Because they believed they were pulling over an armed suspect, Stafford officers had their weapons drawn.
“It was quickly determined by our officers that it was the victim’s vehicle, not the suspects, and motor vehicle stop was concluded on a positive note,” Stafford police reported.
Sheriff Michael Mastronardy said he reviewed the tapes and met with both Barnegat and Stafford chiefs.
“There was a miscommunication between the officer and the dispatcher,” he said. Policies in the Sheriff’s Department will be strengthened, he said. From now on, when license plates are being confirmed, they will be confirmed a specific way to avoid confusion.