Police: Bystander comes to aid of Deptford officer put in chokehold by man during mall struggle

A man put a police officer in a chokehold before a bystander came to his aid during a struggle at a New Jersey mall, police said.

Deptford Township police said officers were sent to the Deptford Mall just after 7:30 p.m. Friday on a report of a disorderly man allegedly harassing patrons.

A uniformed officer found the man on the second floor of the mall and asked him to leave multiple times but he refused to do so and "allegedly became confrontational," eventually taking a fighting stance, police said.

As the officer tried to arrest him on defiant trespass and disorderly conduct charges, a struggle ensued during which the man was able to put a chokehold on the officer, "effectively cutting off" his blood and oxygen supply, police said.

During the struggle, a bystander interceded and helped the officer escape the chokehold and get the man into handcuffs, police said. The officer was treated by county emergency medical personnel for minor injuries, police said.

Michael Carberry, 43, of Mickelton, was charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and defiant trespass and was taken to Salem County jail. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney; listed numbers in his name were not in service Sunday.

Chief Joe Smith said he would be "forever grateful" that "a mall patron had the bravery to intervene and assist our officer."

"Now, more than ever, we rely on the strength of community and the strength of each other," he said in a statement.

The incident came two days after thousands gathered for the funeral of Deptford Officer Robert Shisler, who died May 7 from injuries suffered when he was shot March 10 during a struggle with an armed pedestrian that also left that person dead.