By Steve Beck, Cleve Bryan
LINDENWOLD, N.J. (CBS) — A naked man, who was high on drugs, punched an officer and tried to steal a police car in South Jersey, police said.
The bizarre incident began at about 10:20 Tuesday evening at the Arborwood Condos and E. Gibbsboro Road in Lindenwold.
According to investigators, a Lindenwold police officer was interviewing two suspicious individuals outside the apartment complex when a naked male ran up to him and punched him in the face.
“He turned around to see what was going on and came upon a naked male who was sweating and out of breath, and he basically claimed that this was neighborhood and the officer needs to leave,” says Chief Thomas Brennan, of the Lindenwold Police Department.
The officer then tried to arrest the male, who continued to attack him, but he had difficulty controlling the male due to the fact that he was naked and sweating profusely.
During the struggle, the male broke free and jumped into the officer’s patrol vehicle and tried to steal it, but he was unable to do so.
“After punching the officer Neville jumped into his police cruiser. He tried to get it into gear but was unable, so the officer pulled him out of the car and tackle him to the ground but he slipped away and was off running again,” Chief Brennan says.
The officer and a back-up officer continued to struggle with the male and were able to remove him from the patrol car.
The male then broke free again and ran from the officers. After a short foot pursuit, he was apprehended with the assistance of additional officers and secured in handcuffs.
The male, identified by police as 28-year-old Bryon Neville, was believed to be under the influence of marijuana laced with PCP.
Neville was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment of minor injuries he sustained during his struggles with police. He is facing numerous charges including Carjacking and Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer and is being held at the Camden County Jail on $200,000 bail.
The initial officer received minor injuries as a result of the assault and did not require medical attention. No other officers were injured during the incident.
Still, eyewitnesses were shocked by what they saw.
“Surprised to the point where it was unbelievable, because I fairly know this man — I used to give him rides from work,” Edward Stewart says.
While police say the incident is certainly bizarre, it’s not the first of its kind to happen in Lindenwold.
“We had a similar incident last fall; it was a naked guy that broken into someone else’s house,” recalls Brennan.