Two off-duty Madison Police officers thwarted a robbery attempt when they saw five individuals chasing a man on train tracks near Route 21 in Newark on Monday night, authorities said.
The officers, Paul Papamarkos and Luis Goncalves, were on their way to a holiday party around 7:30 p.m. when they saw the man being pursued, Madison Acting Police Chief Darren Dachisen said in a statement Wednesday.
The Madison officers' vehicle was equipped with emergency lights from one of the officers' involvement with volunteer firefighting, and they activated the lights as they approached the situation, Dachisen said.
According to the Madison news release, the man allegedly was punched in the head at the NJPAC light rail station, and ran until he encountered the Madison officers. When the officers exited their vehicle, the man yelled to them that he was being robbed, he said.
The officers detained the five individuals until NJ Transit and Newark police arrived, Dachisen said.
Two adults and three juveniles were taken into custody by the New Jersey Transit Police Department, he said.
NJ Transit Spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said police ultimately filed attempted robbery charges against two of the individuals—19-year-old Tony D. Rainey, of Newark, and one juvenile.
Rainey was taken to the Essex County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail, and the juvenile was transported to the juvenile detention center, Snyder said.
Dachisen praised Papamarkos and Goncalves' response.
“They came to the aid of the victim and took the suspects into custody without any concern for their own safety," Dachisen said. "You don’t stop being a police officer just because it is the end your shift. They both did a fantastic job!”