• Gabriel Donio

Locked in cop car for 9 hours

Not a local car; man arrested


A man spent nine hours locked in a police car from another municipality that was being serviced locally after he gained access to the vehicle, Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel said. (Courtesy Photo)

HAMMONTON—A man spent nine hours locked in a police car from another municipality that was being serviced locally after he gained access to the vehicle, Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel said. Police were notified about the man in the car at 10:07 a.m. on January 25, Friel said.


Local police dispatch was advised of a subject who was potentially locked in the rear of a patrol vehicle for service in the 200 block of S. White Horse Pike, Friel said.


Officer Anthony Paulsgraf was the responding officer and observed a subject in the rear of a patrol vehicle that was there for service, Friel said. Upon opening the door for the subject, Joseph Tomasello, 47, of Blue Anchor, he stated that he was supposed to be in the vehicle and was looking for evidence for his brother, Friel said.


Friel said Tomasello had been in the vehicle for approximately nine hours, and had caused damage to the center partition and shield, damage to one of the doors and damage to the recording system for the in-car camera.


Tomasello was placed under arrest, transported to police headquarters for processing and charged with the following criminal charges: burglary, criminal mischief and criminal trespass, Friel said. He was transported to the Atlantic County Jail awaiting a court date in the Atlantic County Superior Court, Friel said.


Friel explained how Tomasello became trapped in the police vehicle.


“The back doors must have been unlocked so he could get in there, but once you’re in there, you can’t get out,” Friel said.


Paulsgraf was the investigating and charging officer, Friel said.