Police & Fire

Homeowner Allegedly Beats 13-Year-Old with Hockey Stick After Snowball Incident


MADISON, NJ - A borough homeowner whose house was hit by a snowball chased down a group of youths allegedly responsible and allegedly beat one of the 13-year-olds in the leg with a hockey stick on Tuesday.

According to Madison police, Joseph Sales, 55, of Green Avenue pursued a group of youngsters by car and then on foot after a wreath on his front door was struck by a snowball.

While walking on Garfield Avenue, a group of juveniles observed a vehicle allegedly speeding toward them. As the vehicle approached the group, Sales exited the vehicle and confronted the youths about throwing the snowball at his house. The youths reacted by running away from Sales, and he gave chase on foot after the group.

Sales continued to pursue one of the juveniles into the backyard of a Garfield Avenue residence. One of the 13-year-olds was running from Sales and slipped and fell. Sales then allegedly confronted the youth and began to yell and repeatedly strike him "four or five times" in the leg with a field hockey stick.

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After the alleged assault Sales walked away, making "vulgar remarks" about the juvenile and his friends. One of the juveniles present was able to confirm Sales’ identity.

When the injured 13-year-old, who suffered bruising and swelling to his right leg but refused any further treatment, arrived home, he told his mother what took place and the two went to police headquarters to report the incident.

Sales was brought into custody and charged with Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose, and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. Sales was released pending an appearance in Morris County Superior Court.    

The incident, which began when the group friends was walking home on Green Avenue after sledding and one of them allegedly threw a wreath at Sales' home, remains under investigation.


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