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Elmwood Park Police Officer Breaks Leg Responding To Drug Deal Gone Bad

Malcom Moody, Daniel Medina
Malcom Moody, Daniel Medina Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. -- An Elmwood Park police officer broke his leg responding to a fight after a marijuana deal that went bad at a local apartment complex Wednesday night.

Officers responding to a call of five suspicious men hanging around the Elmwood Village Apartment Complex near Boulevard and 16th Avenue just before 5 p.m. found three men beating another, Police Chief Michael Foligno told Daily Voice.

Two took off while a third continued beating the man as Officer Keith Hartmann approached, the chief said. He, too, ran as the officer got closer, Foligno said.

Hartman tackled the man, later identified as 25-year-old Malcom Moody of Englewood. Moody struggled with Hartmann and backup Officer Victor Scott, hitting them in the chest and upper body with his elbows and hands, the chief said.

Officer Ryan Nichols, who came running to help, "stepped in a large pot hole and snapped his tibia," Foligno said. He was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center.

Meanwhile, two borough police calls with officers responding to the call were involved in a crash, significantly damaging one of the vehicles. Neither officer was injured, Foligno said.

Once Moody was subdued, Hartmann found a straight-edge razor nearby that Foligno said was used to slash the head and face of the victim, 20-year-old Daniel Medina of Elmwood Park.

Moments later, officers found Daniel Mazzitelle, 21, also of Elmwood Park, in a 2010 Acura TL he'd driven there with Medina to sell a quarter-pound of marijuana, the chief said.

"The deal went bad and Moody and his accomplices attempted to rob Mazzetille and Medina, which caused the altercation," he said.

The pot was found in the car, Foligno added.

A search of Medina's home turned up two more pounds of pot and several rounds of handgun ammunition, he said.

A judge ordered Moody held on $250,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail on charges that include armed robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and weapons offenses.

Mazzitelle posted $15,000 bail on pot-related charges and was released.

Medina remained held on $50,000 bail on similar counts.

Two suspects remained at large.

Police seized the Acura for possible forfeiture.

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