Clifton, NJ – The New Jersey attorney general released surveillance video on Thursday of a December incident when an armed man slashed a police officer in the face and then stabbed himself (video below).
The incident occurred at about 5:18 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2020 when Clifton police officers responded to a call about a guest having a mental health crisis at a Howard Johnson’s hotel on Route 3, the Daily Voice reported.
New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said three Clifton officers were joined by three Clifton Fire Department EMTs when they got to the scene.
Grewal said the officers tried to talk to the suspect – later identified as 35-year-old Antwon Whitlock – through the closed door of his hotel room, the Daily Voice reported.
The attorney general said the officers then forced the door open and confronted Whitlock.
“Once the door was open, the officers had a brief interaction at the doorway with [Whitlock], who was armed with two knives,” Grewal explained.
The surveillance video he released showed the officers in the hallway talking to Whitlock in the threshold of his hotel room.
One of the officers got close to the doorway and deployed pepper spray at the armed suspect’s face.
The video showed Whitlock dashed out of the room and down the hall, reaching out his arm to slash one of the police officers across the face with his knife as he ran.
The wounded officer dropped to the floor and the two other officers opened fire on Whitlock as he ran away, the video showed.
Grewal said none of the bullets struck Whitlock and he escaped through a fire door at the end of the hallway, the Daily Voice reported.
“He remained in that area of the hotel, armed with the two knives,” the attorney general explained when he released the video.
Police locked down the hotel and searched it.
A Passaic County SWAT Team located Whitlock in the 4th floor hallway shortly before 7 a.m.
They deployed a Taser at Whitlock in an attempt to subdue the armed man, the Daily Voice reported.
The video showed Whitlock dropped to the ground and then rolled on his back and stabbed himself in the chest with a knife as the SWAT Team approached him.
Whitlock slashed at officers who tried to disarm him and he was eventually subdued by multiple officers, the video showed.
The officer who was slashed in the face was transported to St. Joseph’s for treatment and later released, the Daily Voice reported.
Whitlock was treated for his self-inflicted stab wound and then transferred to the Bergen County Jail.
He has been charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest and weapons possession, according to the Daily Voice.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: