New Jersey

Police: Crowd Attacks Officers Responding to Fight Between 2 Women

Paulsboro Police Chief Vernon Marino says a "very large crowd" made up of mostly children and young adults attacked the officers, who soon received help from cops in neighboring towns.

Several arrests are expected after police say a crowd attacked officers who were responding to a fight between two women in Paulsboro, New Jersey.

Police say the ordeal began Saturday at 2:30 p.m. when two women, identified as Yasmeen Stafford and Donyae Parker, began fighting on West Adams Street. The fight stemmed from an ongoing feud between the two women, investigators said.

Several hours later, the two women fought again, this time surrounded by a much larger crowd, according to police.

"It was insane," Stafford told NBC10. "It was probably like 75 to 100 people out there."

Authorities say police officers responded to the scene and tried to arrest the two women. As they arrived however they were attacked by members of the crowd, made up mostly of children and young adults, according to investigators.

"The one officer was punched in the face," Paulsboro Police Chief Vernon Marino said.

The officers called for backup from police in nine neighboring towns. Videos of the fights were posted on social media. Part of the incident was also captured on a police body camera.

"You can see the crowd swarming," Chief Marino said. "The one officer, unfortunately the camera was either taken off or knocked off in the struggle."

Parker's grandfather Frank Hardy Jr. told NBC10 he intervened in the fight and that his granddaughter has been attacked and harassed repeatedly.

"It shouldn't have happened," Hardy said. "I got there too late. I restrained my granddaughter because she was tussling."

Both Parker and Stafford face assault charges. Stafford told NBC10 she plans on turning herself in.

"I'm really scared right now," Stafford said. "I don't know what to think. Like I know I didn't do nothing wrong but I just don't know what to think right now. I'm just overwhelmed."

Two of the officers who were attacked suffered minor injuries but are doing okay and are already back on the job, according to officials.

Marino said some arrests were made at the scene but more are expected as authorities review video captured by the officer's body cameras.

The department will soon increase the number of officers on patrol in response to the assaults, according to Marino. He also urged parents to speak with their children about how fights and related matters can have a negative impact on the community.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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