SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Police nabbed a wanted robbery suspect Saturday after he tried to hide in the refrigerator of a home.
According to police, Officer Jarrid Harpster saw a Monmouth Junction man with several outstanding warrants, including two for robbery, walking on Maple Street at 7:25 p.m. Saturday evening.
The man, identified as Dominick Zippo, 26, of Monmouth Junction, saw the officer and ran into a residence on the street, police said.
Harpster and backup officers Sgt. Anthony Pisano, Officer Peter Santa and Officer George Morgan entered the house and immediately contained a loose pit bull dog in a back room, before searching for Zippo.
Once the animal was no longer a threat, the officers found the 5’-7 inch, 140 lbs. Zippo curled up hiding inside a refrigerator, police said.
According to police, Zippo brandished a five-inch knife and started yelling for the officers to shoot him.
Officers Santa and Morgan tried to negotiate with Zippo to drop the knife and come out, but he refused.
Police said that Zippo looked down for a moment and the officers grabbed him and pinned him to the kitchen floor, struggling with him to drop the weapon.
At that point, Officer Harpster and Lt. Frank Lombardo stepped in and pepper sprayed the suspect, forcing Zippo to drop the knife and take him into custody, police said.
Zippo was charged with robbery, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice in addition to multiple other warrants out of Edison, Woodbridge, Milltown, North Brunswick and the Middlesex County Sheriff, police said.
He was taken to a medical facility for evaluation and then lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick on $75,000 bond, police said.
“These officers pursued a wanted fugitive into a residence. In the residence they were confronted by the fugitive armed with a knife,” Chief of Police Raymond Hayducka said. “They worked in a space no bigger than eight-feet wide as they negotiated to resolve the situation. When speaking did not work, they took decisive action and neutralized the threat by overpowering the suspect. They showed courage and tenacity in successfully disarming and arresting the fugitive. Their actions exemplify the best of our agency.”
Two of the officers, Harpster and Morgan, had just from another call in Monmouth Junction where they had just revived a toddler from drowning in an in ground pool about a half hour before, saving his life.
That call came in at 6:45 p.m. Saturday, where the officers and a bystander at a party at a Route 1 residence used CPR to revive the child who fell to the bottom of the pool during a party.
The child survived the incident, police said.
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