November 30, 2015

The Crazy Life of Anthony Sommese

Theo Deitz-Green ‘18

From carjacking to drug stings to security duty, GOA security guard Anthony Sommese has seen it all.
Sommese worked for 25 years as a detective at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. He spent part of that time in a unit that dealt with car theft and carjacking and the rest in a wiretapping unit.
After working his way up the ranks of the Prosecutor’s Office, Sommese found himself in charge of a car theft and carjacking unit. He and his officers drove around every day in unmarked cars looking for stolen automobiles and as soon as somebody saw one, the whole unit converged on the scene and captured the suspect.
Of course, things did not always go so smoothly when Sommese and his team apprehended suspects. Although Sommese never had to shoot anybody, members of his team were involved in a few shooting situations.
One time, one of Sommese’s men tried to take down a suspect in a stolen car without any backup. Going into action without backup is never a good idea, and things went horribly wrong.
As the officer was standing at the door to the car, the suspect suddenly jerked the car back and then forward, knocking the officer to the ground. As the officer was falling to the ground, he managed to pull out his gun and shoot the suspect, causing the suspect to crash the car into a nearby pole. Sommese arrived on the scene to find his officer injured on the ground and the suspect’s car crashed into a pole, the suspect having been shot.
“Imagine finding that,” Sommese said.
Other times, the suspects tried to escape by driving away and car chases ensued. As the head of his team, it was Sommese’s job to fly above in a helicopter during car chases, telling his officers where to go to catch the suspect.
Even though it was a high-intensity job, Sommese never felt scared because he had adrenaline running through him and he was surrounded by his friends. Through it all, Sommese had one main focus.
“You do everything you can to prevent civilian casualties,” he said.
As for drug busts, Sommese had only one thing to say: “Typical.”
He and his team would wiretap suspects, wait for them to say something incriminating, and then rush in and arrest them, almost like drug busts on television.
Once he retired, Sommese decided to work as a security guard in a school because, “[he missed] being a kid.”
So next time you try to make up an excuse about why you’re late, just remember: Sommese has seen it all.

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