Cops: Brick Man Reported Supermarket Gun Threat During Traffic Stop to Avoid Arrest
Officers responded to Stop & Shop store after gun threat was called in
A Brick man called in a false report of two men entering a supermarket with guns in hopes of avoiding arrest on warrants after being pulled over in a traffic stop, authorities say.
Brick police responded to the Stop & Shop supermarket in Bay Harbor Plaza on March 8 after receiving the report over the phone, but after setting up a perimeter and conducting a systematic search of the supermarket and surrounding stores, determined the area was secure, Sgt. Henry Drew said.
Officers then changed their focus to the origin of the call, and through an investigation determined that a township man, identified as James Spinelli, 52, of Adamston Road, called in the report while he was still pulled over for a traffic stop.
"While Ptl. [Julian] Halley was checking Spinelli’s paperwork, Spinelli called in the false report, in an attempt to avoid being arrested on several outstanding warrants that were issued by the Toms River and East Brunswick municipal courts," said Drew.
Indeed, after the call reporting the men with guns came in, Halley "cleared from the stop" to respond to the supermarket for the more serious call, Drew said.
Spinelli was located using information obtained during the traffic stop, as well as through information gathered through "previous encounters" police have had with him, Drew said.
Ultimately, Spinelli's vehicle was located at a residence on Adamston Road, and officers placed him into custody after finding him inside, said Drew.
Spinelli was charged with making a false public alarm, obstruction of the administration of law, and several motor vehicle violations. He was then turned over to the custody of the Toms River Police Department for the outstanding warrant.