It was another routine pickup for sheriff's officers from Ocean County when they served a warrant Thursday night to a 56-year-old man accused of not paying child support. Then they found a nail in his chest.
It isn't clear when the man did it, but authorities say that George Clark shot a single nail into his chest with a Remington Power Actuated Tool before sheriff's officers arrested him at his room at the Shore Motel. The injury, although macabre, was not apparent to officers when they arrested Clark.
"It didn't leave a big, giant hole. There wasn't any sign of blood," Ocean County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave said. "A nail gun, depending on the size of the nail, it shoots very clean, right through."
Della Fave didn't know the size of the nail.
Clark was arrested "without incident" around 9 p.m. Thursday but started having difficulty breathing when he reached the warrant division's office, Della Fave said. Medics arrived and Clark told them he had "chest discomfort." They evaluated him and discovered a puncture wound. X-rays later showed a single nail lodged in his heart.
Clark was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where he is in the intensive care unit listed in critical but stable condition, Della Fave said.