Just two days after the funeral of Deptford police officer Robert Shisler, a second officer nearly lost his life, if not for quick thinking by a Penns Grove High School English teacher.

Robert Fitzpatrick, an English teacher at Penns Grove High School, was shopping with his two young children at Deptford Mall, when he observed an altercation between a police officer and an unruly man on the mall's second floor.

6abc Philadelphia via YouTube
6abc Philadelphia via YouTube

Officer Anthony Gatto had been dispatched to the mall and was attempting to place 43-year-old Michael Cadberry under arrest for defiant trespass and disorderly conduct charges.

A struggle ensued and Cadberry had managed to get the officer into a choke hold.  As onlookers took out their phones to record the episode, Fitzpatrick, who has a background in jujutsu, ask a store clerk to keep an eye on his kids, and he jumped into action.

He applied a chokehold of his own on Cadberry, forcing him to release his hold on the officer.  While he applied the hold, he managed to de-escalate the situation until more help arrived.

This situation could have ended in tragedy, if not for the quick thinking and action of Robert Fitzpatrick.

Chief Smith of the Deptford police department expressed his gratitude for Fitzpatrick, say,

“Now, more than ever, we rely on the strength of community and the strength of each other. We value our relationships with the residents and stakeholders of Deptford Township and we are thankful that a mall patron had the bravery to intervene and assist our officer. For that, I am forever grateful.”

Police: Bystander comes to aid of police officer put in chokehold by man during Deptford Mall struggle - 6abc Philadelphia

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