Police say wellness check is met with gunshot – Evesham man jailed
An Evesham man is behind bars, until his hearing for allegedly shooting at a township officer who was checking on his well-being.
Jeffrey R. Wass, 54, of Marlton, faces second- and third-degree counts of aggravated assault, weapons charges, and a count of causing a risk of widespread injury or damage, accorting to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Evesham PD Chief Christopher Clew.
The detention hearing was held June 30 for the incident that unfolded May 24. Police said a maintenance worker entered Wass's unit in the New Amsterdam Apartments to check a report of a natural gas odor, and found Wass unconscious on his couch..
As police officers and firefighters arrived, the worker found stove burners on with no flames. The worker called PSE&G, which sent a crew to shut down gas and electric service for the entire building, to prevent an explosion, police said.
Wass warned police at his doorway not to enter, authorities said, and ignored several attempts to establish contact by phone. One officer returned to the closed door and shouted to Wass to answer his phone. Police said that Wass fired a gunshot inside his apartment in response.
Officers took cover and, after repeated attempts to continue communicating with Wass, sent a New Jersey State Police tactical robot in. The device sent images showing Wass incapacitated on his sofa, authorities said, allowing officers to enter and to apprehend him.
A court-authorized search of the apartment yielded a nine-millimeter pistol, investigators said.
Lead investigators in the probe were Detective Tim Van Fossen of the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, and Evesham PD Detective Michael Haller.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.