Trenton, NJ – A New Jersey grand jury declined on Monday to bring criminal charges against the officer who shot a mentally-disturbed man who tried to stab another officer with scissors.
Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck said the incident occurred just before 10:30 p.m. on July 23, 2019 when Asbury Park police officers responded to the Asbury Inn on 7th Avenue, the Daily Voice reported.
He said dispatchers had received a report of a man “behaving erratically” and threatening “commit violence against another person.”
Bruck said that when police and paramedics arrived on the scene, they went to 27-year-old James Manzo’s hotel room to talk to him, the Daily Voice reported.
Manzo first tried to close the door on the officers, but then he ducked back inside and returned with a pair of scissors, NJ Advance Media reported.
Bruck said that bodycam video and witness testimony had proved Manzo charged into the hallway and tried to attack police, the Daily Voice reported.
“According to available evidence, including video from body worn cameras and the statement of a civilian witness, Mr. Manzo attempted to stab an officer with a pair of scissors,” the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office said in the press release announcing the grand jury’s decision, according to Insider NJ.
Asbury Park Police Officer James R. Crawford open fire on the scissor-wielding suspect and shot him, NJ Advance Media reported.
Authorities said Manzo was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune where he was pronounced dead.
The officer-involved shooting was investigated by the state’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and referred to the grand jury, Insider NJ reported.
“After hearing testimony and evidence from the investigation, the grand jury concluded its deliberations yesterday, Sept. 27, and voted ‘no bill,’ meaning a majority of grand jurors found that the actions of the officer who shot Mr. Manzo were justified and no charges should be filed against him,” the statement from the attorney general’s office read.