It all started last night at around 1:00a.m., when Hackensack, NJ Police Department received a call that there was an armed man in the Railroad Avenue and Newman Street housing project. Sgt. James Dalton and Officer Franklin Bay, who were patrolling on foot, responded. The suspect, identified as Robert Leonardis, 22 (from Hackensack), was confronted by the officers at the corner of the two streets, and a foot-chase ensued. Two additional officers arrived as Leonardis fled the scene. That’s when Leonardis opened fire on one of the patrol cars, striking the hood and windshield that Officer Joseph Ayoubi was driving, which went through the windshield, narrowly missing Officer Ayoubi. Officer Ayoubi slammed on his breaks, which caused Officer Brett McCarthy, was driving closely behind, to slam into the back of Ayoubi’s vehicle.
The officers returned fire and struck Leonardis multiple times, dropping him at the corner of First and Sussex streets, where he was apprehended. Officer Ayoubi suffered a facial injury, started bleeding, and believed he had been shot due to the impact he had felt. However, it was determined the injury was a result of a piece of windshield and not from a bullet. No officers were hit, and they were treated and released with minor injuries. Leonardis was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center where he underwent surgery and remains in critical condition.
See Raw Police Footage at the Scene (below)