HOBOKEN, NJ - The heart of Hoboken went into lockdown Friday, as heavily armed law enforcement descended on a basement apartment near 8th & Garden to handle what they believed to be a situation involving child endangerment.
Just before 4:00 p.m. units moved into place around 736 Garden Street, after Hoboken Police had received calls over the past few days.
"DCPP [Division of Child Protection & Permanency], Mobile Crisis, our Hoboken Police officers were attempting throughout the day to make some kind of contact with this family," said Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante.
When there was no response, Hoboken ESU and Hudson County Regional SWAT were dispatched, along with negotiators, to make further attempts at contact.
"At 3:39 p.m. we made contact at the door, and knew there were people inside the residence," said Ferrante.
Several city blocks in Hoboken were shut down to traffic and pedestrians as law enforcement personnel conducted negotiations with those inside the apartment—which included a 5 year-old child. Just before 7:00 p.m., the decision was made to enter the residence.
"Fortunately when the Hudson County Regional SWAT entered the residence, that 5-year-old was recovered and brought out safely," said Ferrante, "and a 41 year-old male was placed into custody."
Authorities were unwilling to divulge the name of the man in custody. However, the neighbors have identified the man as Michael Marshalek. He has been charged with 2nd Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The 5-year-old is in the safe custody of his mother.
Marshalek, a Hoboken resident, has recently made news as being a vocal opponent of the face mask ordinance put forth by the City of Hoboken.
“Fascism will not be tolerated here,” he said, in an August 19 Hoboken City Council meeting. “We the people demand to be left the f*** alone. You are suppressing the people, putting people in fear, subverting the mainstream media with a mediated false reality of science with these fake hoaxes to control the minds of the people. No one died, no one cried... ”
That ordinance, which would have potentially fined violators $250 for not wearing masks, was voted down by the Council that evening.
Regarding the Friday incident Chief Ken Ferrante stated, ”I would like to thank the Hoboken Police Department’s School Resource Officers under Lieutenant Melissa Gigante, and Sergeants Chris LaBruno and David Olivera, the Hoboken Police Dept’s Patrol officers and ESU team under the supervision of Sgt. Luke Zeszotarski, the Hoboken Police Detectives under Capt. Gino Jacobelli, and especially Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, her staff, and the Hudson County Regional SWAT team for the collaboration today which made a highly complicated, concerning and potentially dangerous situation, result in a safe recovery of a 5 yr old boy and successful apprehension of a male, without injury to anyone! The creation of the Hudson County Regional SWAT team by Prosecutor Suarez, once again results in a peaceful and successful ending due to the skills, training and leadership of this team!”
Hoboken Mayor Ravinder Bhalla stated, “I’m very grateful to all of our law enforcement personnel, including the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and it’s Regional SWAT Team, our Emergency Service Unit, detectives and police officers for going above and beyond responding to the scene of a highly dangerous situation tonight. Thanks to their quick and provisional response, all individuals are physically safe. My thoughts are with the victims of the unfortunate incident.”
No one was harmed in Friday's incident. Additionally, no weapons were recovered on the scene. The suspect remains innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.