A $20,000 reward now supports the search for thea suspect who sucker-punched a Long Branch police officer into unconsciousness during an attempted arrest before dawn Tuesday.

Maciej Korzekwa

Officer Michael Monahan, a 12-year veteran of the force, was knocked out by a clubbing on the back of the head not far from the intersection of Westwood and Bath Avenues as the time approached 2 AM, police said.

A $20,000 reward was posted by the New Jersey State Policement's Benevolent Association for information leading to the capture and conviction of the suspect or suspects.

Monahan saw what appeared to be several people holding flashlights near an abandoned building, who ran when he emerged from the squad car. He gave chase, nabbed one, and was hit from behind.

Fellow officers, failing to get radio response, spotted him, face-down and out cold, next to his still-shining flashlight.

Monahan was rushed to Jersey Shore University Medical Center for observation of his head injury.

Anyone who is aware of the incident, or who has information that can help police find the individual or individuals who attacked Monahan, should call Long Branch PD Joe Spitale, 732-222-1000, or Detective Pam Ricciardi in the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. 732-431-7160.

CrimeStoppers offers rewards up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any suspect. The agency can be reached at 1-800-671-4400.


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