NJ’s Top Cop, Attorney General Discuss High-Speed Police Escorts
TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey’s top cop met with his commanders and the state’s attorney general Wednesday to discuss allegations of high-speed police escorts for sports cars on the Garden State Parkway.
State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes called the allegations against Sgt. First Class Nadir Nassry “very disturbing,” but said Wednesday that commanders were warned that this kind of alleged behavior will not be tolerated.
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“Obviously we have an aberration that’s occurred here,” he said. “We’ve had to take action upon that and we’ve addressed it pretty swiftly.”
State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa suspended Nassry and Trooper Joseph Ventrella, a six-year veteran, without pay Monday.
Officials are investigating allegations that the troopers escorted a group of expensive sports cars at 100 mph down the Garden State Parkway last month.
The cars included exotics like Lamborghinis and Ferraris and former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, now with the San Francisco 49ers, was reportedly among those traveling in the caravan.
After meeting with Fuentes on Wednesday, Chiesa said escorts like these put other drivers at risk and said officials will be reviewing how all police escorts are granted.
“We need to make sure that the people in the state police understand that these kind of events can’t happen,” Chiesa said. “First of all, we need to make sure we’re addressing that and then as a secondary matter, we will take a look at the protocols in place that govern these escorts.”
Charles Sciarra, Nassry’s attorney, said high-speed caravan escorts have been going on for decades.
“Whether this [escort] was done in full accordance with the rules and regulations is an area — that’s appropriate for investigation,” Sciarra said.
He said his client wants to cooperate and is preparing a defense.
Gov. Chris Christie also weighed in on the matter Monday, saying the alleged state trooper escort of the caravan was a “dumb thing to do.”
The attorney general’s office is investigating a second alleged high-speed police escort from 2010.
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