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Intoxicated Man Dies While Handcuffed In Mahwah Home, Police Say

Man's father called police after he locked himself in a bathroom and wouldn't come out, according to cops

An allegedly intoxicated 25-year-old Mahwah man died Sunday night while police were responding to a 911 call from his father, Chief Jim Batelli said.

A Campgaw Road resident called police Sunday at 10:16 p.m. when his son, Michael Garbowski, was believed to be under the influence of narcotics and/or alcohol and was locked in a second floor bathroom, Batelli said.

Garbowski was taken from the bathroom after refusing to leave, kicking or punching the walls, and speaking incoherently, Batelli said. After several attempts to get Garbowski out of the bathroom, his father forced open the door, police said.

He was handcuffed and “while awaiting the arrival of Valley Hospital medics and Company 4 ambulance, one of the officers observed [that Garbowski had] stopped breathing,” Batelli said.

Police officers administered emergency life support at the scene before transporting Garbowski to an area hospital. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, Batelli said.

Evidence recovered in the home included “narcotic contraband,” police said. Police declined to say the types of drugs found in the home.

The incident has been referred to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, as are all “in-custody” deaths, Batelli said.


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rodney van dunk September 19, 2012 at 09:00 AM
well im sorry i am not trying to start anything i have been arrested in my past and when your handcuffed it is realy hard to breath and drinking would realy make hard to breath. its very sad lets just pray for the family and if my spelling is in correct please dont read this
Truth Hurts September 19, 2012 at 11:28 AM
No.. You were trying to start something and now you realize how stupid your comments were so you're saying you weren't!
Mahwah Resident September 23, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Truth Hurts I think you are trying to start something.. . . We will never no if the handcuffs had anything to do with the young mans death or not. Let's get back to the true meaning of the story and pray him and his family. Very sad.....
inmyheartforeverMG October 06, 2012 at 04:27 PM
not a day goes by where i am not thinking of you. i love you michael, words cannot even describe how much i miss you. you were a beautiful man inside & out. you were loving, caring & funny. you will forever be in my heart. may you rest peacefully & watch over us <3
Dave Justdave December 25, 2013 at 08:30 PM
i love all the people that yelled at rodney for saying "you did read he was kikcing blah blah, and punching blah blah"... You people are the idiots. just cuz u read something doesn't mean that it's true. idiots. u have no idea what happened.


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