On March 23, 2019, at about 0143 hours, a Newark Police Officer was on patrol on North College Avenue in Newark. At that time, the officer observed a disturbance in the roadway. The officer observed a male subject holding on to the door handle of a vehicle as the female driver of the vehicle was yelling at the male to let go of the door to the vehicle. The officer attempted to make contact with the male, who ignored the officer’s command to stop. The officer was able to make contact and stop the male, at which time the male attempted to punch the officer. The officer was able to take the male into custody and he was transported to Newark Police Headquarters.
The female operator of the vehicle was found to be driving for a ride share service at the time of the incident. She had no involvement with the male and had not been requested to provide him a ride.
While at Newark Police Headquarters, the male resisted efforts by officers to remove him from the vehicle and refused to provide any identifying information. He was found to be intoxicated. Once officers got him into the Newark PD cell block processing area, the male continued to resist and struggle with the officers. The male threatened the officers and he used his legs to trip one of the officers and bring him to the ground. As the officer fell, the officer struck his head on a metal counter and then fell to the concrete floor.
The male was eventually identified as Alexander Mastronardi, 19, of Bernardsville, NJ. Mastronardi was charged that evening with misdemeanor offenses related to the incident and was released.
Subsequent to the arrest, the officer was found to have suffered a serious head injury directly related to striking his head as he was taken to the ground. The officer was admitted to the critical care unit at an area hospital in serious condition, where he remained for over a week. The officer has since been transferred to a rehabilitation center for further treatment.
The officer is assigned to the Patrol Division.
On April 8, 2019, Mastronardi was taken into custody by Newark Police Detectives to be charged with more serious charges than originally charged on the night of the incident. The initial charges have been dismissed for the more serious offenses. Mastronardi was charged with the following offenses:
Mastronardi appeared before Justice of the Peace Court #11 in New Castle. He was ordered held on $32,400 secured bail. His custody was transferred to the Howard R. Young Correctional Facility in Wilmington.