Elizabeth Man Sentenced to 14 years over Violent Struggle with Officers for Control of Gun

An Elizabeth man has been sentenced to 14 years in state prison for drug offenses and engaging in a violent struggle with four police officers for control over a firearm, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Friday.

Jamal Madison, 31, must serve at least seven years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole, according to the terms imposed by state Superior Court Judge Regina Caulfield.

The date was May 11, 2011 when Elizabeth Police Sgt. Lawrence Smith and detectives Luis Garcia, Athansios Mikros, and David Conrad were engaged in a surveillance operation in the area of Seventh and South Park streets in Elizabeth, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Jeremiah E. Lenihan, who prosecuted the case. Madison was seen entering the passenger’s seat of a parked vehicle and attempting to hand the driver an object in return for cash, prompting the officers to approach the vehicle, Lenihan said.

Madison then suddenly dropped the bundle of heroin he had been holding and reached for a black, .40-caliber, semi-automatic handgun concealed in his waistband, according to the investigation. Smith, fearing for his life, grabbed Madison’s hand and alerted the other officers, sparking a violent struggle that lasted more than a minute, Lenihan said.

Madison, who had six prior indictable convictions, was arrested without further incident, and the handgun later was found to be stolen. He pleaded guilty in July.