The Public Safety building in Atlantic City will reopen Wednesday after being shut down Tuesday after an altercation left 16 hospitalized, including nine police officers and one firefighter.
Fire, ambulance and police responded Tuesday morning to their own call after police say 29- year- old Thomas McHugh– a former Penn State football player was in a restricted area of the public safety building. When confronted about why he was there, the man allegedly attacked officers.
"He grabbed a wall mounted fire extinguisher and started to spray the officers right in the face which immediately filled the hallway with a white powder," ACPD Sgt. Monica Mcmenamin said.
Officials say the fourth floor filled with a smokey like substance that blinded officers as they struggled to get the 6'3, 250 pound man into custody. He's the same man police say was arrested twice Monday night for disorderly conduct and shop lifting, but released on a summons just before the incident.
McHugh's family says he suffers from mental illness.
Within minutes of the attack, nine people were taken to the hospital, including six police officers.
"It smelled and it was bad and people that were breathing it were having a problem," civilian fire department employee Sibil Victor said.
All those taken to the hospital were treated and released for minor injuries.
Atlantic City Police say they are evaluating their security in the building and are trying to determine how the man got in to the restricted area.
Officials say if you were scheduled for court Tuesday, you should expect to receive a letter in the mail regarding a rescheduled future court date. It is expected to be business as usual on Wednesday.