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Brick Police Officers Hit by Car After House Party Grew Out of Control to 400 People Monday Night

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Brick Twp. Police car. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Brick Twp. Police car. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

A party that grew out of control and eventually attracted 400 people to a single home in the Baywood section of the township resulted in injuries to police officers and multiple arrests, police said.

According to Sgt. Jim Kelly, calls to police began to come in just after 9:30 p.m. Monday night about a large disorderly party on Atlantic Drive in the Baywood section of the township. Initial responding officers estimated that there were in excess of 400 partygoers and, as a result, Atlantic Drive and the surrounding streets were blocked with parked vehicles, some of them occupied. A resident who contacted Shorebeat said the party had been held at the home located at 40 Atlantic Drive.

“Aside from the loud music there were reports of littering, public urination and trespassing,” Kelly said. “Drug use was also evident.”

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Officers were able to make contact with the homeowner, identified as Michelle Cicchillo, who reported that the party continued to grow until it was beyond her control. She attempted to have the guests leave but they were being “defiant and refused to leave,” Kelly said.

Brick police called for assistance from other nearby departments in order to disburse the large crowd. Traffic control was necessary on Drum Point Road and side the streets in order to assist the dispersion, Kelly said. For several hours officers systematically scoured the neighborhood, engaging partygoers and instructing them to leave.

“Other than a few intoxicated and belligerent subjects at the party, the majority of the attendees were compliant with police orders to disperse,” said Kelly.

The night was not without major incidents, however.

While clearing the area, officers encountered subjects in a white Mercedes. Upon contact, the Mercedes sped, off striking two officers, one of them a Street Crimes Unit (SCU) detective and the other, Patrolman Joseph Riccio. Police pursued the vehicle as it fled west on Drum Point Road and on to the Garden State Parkway, Kelly said. Pursuing units ultimately broke off the chase due to the dangerous operation and excessive speeds, said Kelly.

The SCU Detective, whose name was not released, was uninjured, but Riccio was transported to Ocean Medical Center to be treated for a knee injury.

The white Mercedes was located in Brielle within an hour of fleeing the scene and the driver, Darius Edwards, 24, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was identified as the suspect who struck the officers with his vehicle, Kelly said. Edwards was subsequently charged with two counts of assault by auto, eluding, obstruction and possession of marijuana, as well as motor vehicle offenses. Edwards was not listed as an inmate at the Ocean County Jail on Tuesday.

The homeowner, Cicchillo, was charged with maintaining a nuisance and violating the township noise ordinances against excessive loudness and mass gatherings.

During the dispersion, one man, identified as Dakari Smith, 23, of Brooklyn, N.Y., refused to obey orders and was arrested for obstruction, according to police. He was subsequently released on a summons.

Among the agencies that assisted throughout the event were Lakewood Police, Toms River Police, Wall Township Police, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Howell Police, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey State Police.

“Chief Riccio would like to thank the law enforcement agencies that assisted and helped to bring this incident to a successful conclusion,” Kelly said in a prepared statement.