Toms River Police taser man who wanted to commit suicide by cop

TOMS RIVER, NJ –  A male caller to 9-1-1 on Sunday notified dispatchers a man with a gun was seen on James Street.  Police responded only to find out that the caller was the man and he was hoping to be shot by police, according to a release issued by the police department today.

On November 29, 2020, at approximately 2:10 AM multiple Toms River Police Units responded to the area of James St. and Lewis Ave., for reports of a male brandishing a handgun at the caller. Upon arrival, Zachary Brown, 26 of Toms River, fitting the caller’s description, was located by officers walking west on James Street. Mr. Brown had his left hand in his jacket pocket and appeared to be manipulating an unknown object.
Mr. Brown was given commands to remove his hand from his pocket, but he refused to do so. During the incident, Mr. Brown also made multiple statements eluding the fact that he had a weapon in his possession, and either “he was going to assault officers or officers were going to have to assault him”. Mr. Brown made several jerking motions towards officers as if he was going to pull his hand out of his pocket and reveal a firearm. Several attempts were made to reason with Mr. Brown however he made statements such as “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you want to go home tonight?’” As Mr. Brown was growing increasingly impatient with the situation he created, he began to advance toward officers. He was ordered multiple times to stop moving. He refused the officer’s commands and continued walking toward them. Officer John Marsicano then deployed a single cartridge from his taser and Mr. Brown collapsed to the ground. Mr. Brown was secured by officers in handcuffs and treated by EMS on scene. He was ultimately transported to Community Medical Center for further treatment.
Toms River Communications confirmed the multiple calls received to dispatch were in fact by made by Zachary Brown himself. He was charged with Terroristic Threats, Obstruction of Justice, False Reports, and Resisting Arrest. No weapon was recovered.
“There were eleven Toms River Police Officers, and a K9 Officer, on the scene during Zachary Brown’s attempted Suicide by Cop. I would like to commend every one of them for their professionalism and conduct during a very intense situation. There were several different ways the night could have potentially ended, and we are grateful that everyone went home safe to their family at the end of their shift.” said Chief Mitchell Little