CLARK, NJ — It could have been a scene from a horror movie, but instead it proved to be a harsh reality. Residents of Union County were shocked when they heard about the incident that occurred in Clark on Tuesday, Sept. 20. According to a local news source, a resident of Cellar Avenue heard a “blood curdling” scream from a woman near their condo. When the man and his two friends approached her, they discovered a man with a two foot long machete. Emmanuel Goda attempted to attack the man when a passing driver let him inside a vehicle to protect him from being harmed by the attacker.
“Based on the preliminary investigation, which remains ongoing, at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, police received reports of a man threatening local residents, lunging at passing vehicles with a knife and acting erratically on the corner of Lake and Cellar avenues in Clark,” said Mark Spivey, director of communications for Union County Prosecutor’s Office in a recent press release.
Another news source identified the man as Goda, 36, of Clark. The news source described Goda as a bearded man with a mohawk-style haircut. The police arrived and ordered the man to drop the knife. Goda threatened police and residents, and when he went to attack one of the officers, Goda was shot in the torso and taken to the hospital. According to the news source, a resident on the corner of Lake Avenue and Stonehenge Terrace was grilling hamburgers when he heard shots around 7:30 p.m. Goda now faces charges of second-degree attempted aggravated assault and two related weapon offenses in connection with the attack on two police officers.
“Goda was transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were believed to be non-life threatening,” said Spivey in a recent press release. “Two police officers were also taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure. No civilians or officers were injured.”
“Goda since has been charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault and two related weapon offenses, with bail set at $600,000 by State Superior Judge William Daniel,” said Spivey.
“I couldn’t believe something like that would happen in Clark,” Ramona Evans, of Westfield, told LocalSource. “I heard the man got into an argument with his girlfriend, and he pulled out the knife to attack her. She escaped, and so he attacked anyone he came across with on Cellar Avenue. He had to be stopped because he was going to hurt someone. I never hear of anything happening in Clark besides an Italian festival each year.”
“Everything is happening so close to home lately,” said Michael Pollack of Fanwood. “It’s so scary. I met my fiance about a block away from Cellar Avenue. I thought it was a safe area. This is crazy.”
“The Prosecutor’s Office Shooting Response Team is continuing to investigate this incident with assistance from the Union County Sheriff’s Office Identification Unit and the Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit, and anyone with information is being urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Ryan Kirsh at 908-527-4633,” said Spivey. “The investigation is being conducted in strict accordance with New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Directive 2006-5 and the July 28, 2015 supplemental directive, which govern all investigations into use of deadly force by law.”
Clark Police have turned the ongoing investigation over to Union County Prosecutors, and because of this they said they would not be able to comment on the case. Detective Ryan Kirsh, of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office deferred the opportunity to comment since he was not handling press communication for the case.