Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo has determined that the use of force was legally justified in a shooting that involved a Chesilhurst Police Department Officer. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Division of Criminal Justice, reviewed the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office’s investigation and agreed with the conclusion that this use of force was legally justified. As a result, no criminal charges will be filed against the Chesilhurst Police Officer.
On August 2, 2017, at approximately 4:41 p.m., the Chesilhurst Police Department was called out to B’nai B’rith Chesilhurst House, a senior citizen residential facility, located on the 100 block of the White Horse Pike, in response to a 9-1-1 call. Two female employees told police that they had been threatened with a meat cleaver by Daniel McOsker, a 60-year-old resident of the facility, inside of the management office.
Camden County Prosecutor’s Office detectives from the Special Prosecutions Unit and Crime Scene Unit conducted an investigation into the circumstances and events leading up to the shooting. During the course of the investigation, detectives documented the scene, recovered evidence, and interviewed all officers on scene as well as civilian witnesses with relevant information. The incident was recorded by surveillance cameras located throughout the facility.
Based on the results of the investigation, Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo determined that the use of deadly force by the officer who fired his weapon was necessary to protect him or others from imminent death or serious bodily injury. Prosecutor Colalillo further determined that there were no other means available at the time to avert or eliminate the danger that Mr. McOsker created by his actions. As a result, no criminal charges were filed against the officer and the matter was not presented to a grand jury. The Division of Criminal Justice, Office of the New Jersey Attorney General, reviewed the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office’s investigation and concurred with Prosecutor Colalillo’s conclusion that the use of deadly force was legally justified and agreed with her determination that the case should forego presentation to a grand jury, as there were no facts in dispute with the Officer’s use of force.
The investigation revealed that on August 2, 2017, officers arrived and proceeded to the third-floor apartment where Mr. McOsker resided. They immediately removed two visitors from Mr. McOsker’s apartment. Mr. McOsker, who was still holding the meat cleaver, was ordered repeatedly to drop the weapon and exit the apartment. While being ordered to exit and drop the weapon, Mr. McOsker ignored the officers’ commands and proceeded to crawl out of his apartment with the meat cleaver in his hand. While continuing to move towards the police officers, Mr. McOsker raised his left arm to a position that would have allowed him to swing the meat cleaver while within just a few feet of the officers.
Due to the failure of Mr. McOsker to comply with the officers’ commands to drop the meat cleaver and his proximity to the officers in a confined space, an Officer discharged one round from his weapon, striking Mr. McOsker in the thigh. Officers then immediately began to administer first aid to Mr. McOsker. Officers later learned that Mr. McOsker had been crawling due to a disability.
As a result of the threatening behavior towards the employees in the management office, Daniel McOsker was charged with one count of third degree Criminal Restraint, one count of third degree Terroristic Threats, one count of third degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and one count of fourth degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon.
Based on the findings of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office’s investigation, which includes the officer’s account, statements from independent witnesses, the surveillance video from inside of the B’nai B’rith Chesilhurst House, and physical evidence, Camden County Prosecutor Colalillo concluded that the Officer who shot Mr. McOsker acted in accordance with the Attorney General’s Use of Force Guidelines in using deadly force to prevent serious injury or death.
Released December 7, 2017