*Editor’s note: Since publication of the article, the arrested student’s case was dismissed and expunged.
A College student was charged with the aggravated assault of a police officer on Saturday, Oct. 8 after a skirmish with Ewing police on Browning Avenue.
The 19-year-old student was also charged with resisting arrest, obstructing the administration of the law, underage drinking and consuming an alcoholic beverage in public. One of his companions, an 18-year-old female, of New York, was also arrested and charged with underage drinking and obstructing the administration of the law.
The incident arose after Officer Nieves Mendoza stopped the students and two unidentified young men walking along Browning Avenue at 11:15 p.m. on Saturday. The 19-year-old male was carrying an unlabeled water bottle with red liquid inside, said Sgt. Dave LaBaw of Ewing police.
Mendoza asked the four individuals for identification. After surrendering his ID, the student tried to grab it back from the officer, LaBaw said.
Mendoza grabbed the student’s wrist and told him he was under arrest, planning to take him to the station for possession and consumption of alcohol, police said.
At that point, the student allegedly pulled away and shoved the officer. The two then fell to the ground and wrestled, LaBaw said.
While two of the students struggled, the male student’s three companions grabbed their IDs and took off.
The student broke free and started running toward the College, police said. Mendoza began to chase him and called for backup.
Officer Andrew Condrat chased the student into a patch of woods near Green Lane and arrested him, LaBaw said. Condrat sustained a sprained thumb after tripping during the chase.
After the officers took the student to headquarters, the police dispatcher received a call about the student from a young woman who didn’t give her name. She then told police that she didn’t know the student, LaBaw said.
When the dispatcher returned the call, the woman said police had the wrong number. The dispatcher called again and reached a voicemail identifying the phone as belonging to the female student, LaBaw said.
Campus Police officers located the female student in her dorm, LaBaw said. Ewing police took the student into custody and released her on a summons after processing.
The male student was taken to the Mercer County Corrections Center after being processed, reports said. He was released on bail on Sunday, Oct. 9.
LaBaw told the Times of Trenton that Browning Avenue has had trouble with student parties in the past. Mendoza was patrolling the neighborhood when he stopped the students, police said.
Ewing police made two other arrests for underage drinking in the area that night, LaBaw said.
Matt Huston contributed reporting.