A Lawrence Township man was arrested after he allegedly fought with police officers just minutes after they stopped his car because he drove through a red traffic signal about 12:20 a.m. last Friday (Jan. 18).
The suspect, Scott Avellino Jr., 23, of Lake Drive, was charged with resisting arrest, driving under the influence, obstructing, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a half-dozen other offenses, according to township police spokesman Lt. Mark Ubry.
He said Officer Daniel Gladney initiated the traffic stop after he observed Avellino disregard a red light at the intersection of Brunswick Pike (Business Route 1) and Whitehead Road.
Avellino initially did not stop his vehicle and instead continued to drive slowly along Brunswick Pike, Ubry said. Finally, he said, Avellino stopped his vehicle in the left southbound lane of Brunswick Pike near Maplewood Avenue.
Avellino was “argumentative” with Gladney and attempted to walk away from the officer after he was ordered out of the car to perform some field sobriety tests, Ubry said.
Gladney grabbed Avellino – both to prevent him from leaving and to keep him out of the other lanes of travel, Ubry said.
At that time, Avellino began to fight with Gladney and other officers who had arrived on the scene, Ubry said. Based on Avellino’s actions during that fight, and subsequent investigation, he said, police believe Avellino at that time was under the influence of a psychedelic drug known as 2C-I.
It was a dangerous situation, Ubry noted, because the struggle took place in the middle of the roadway late at night. Knowing that they or Avellino could be hit at any moment by an approaching vehicle whose driver might not see them, he said, the officers quickly subdued Avellino and took him into custody.
Avellino was then taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries suffered in the scuffle, Ubry added.