The case of a Carteret Police Officer who was charged with assault and official misconduct for allegedly assaulting a teenager after a car accident, is scheduled to go before a grand jury for indictment in Middlesex County Superior Court.
31-year-old Joseph Reiman, an officer with the Carteret Police Department, was initially under investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office after a report was made regarding the brutal beating that he allegedly gave a 16-year-old at the intersection of Edwin and Bergen streets in Carteret, New Jersey on May 31st of this year.
The 16-year-old, who remains unidentified because he is a minor, was driving without a license before he crashed his parents’ car after a short car chase with police officers. He told investigators that after getting out of the car, Reiman knelt on top of him and beat him, punching him approximately a dozen times. After the assault, police did not call an ambulance to the scene, instead putting the victim in a patrol car.
After Middlesex County officials reviewed the police dashboard camera video of the incident, Reiman was charged with several criminal offenses, including one count of third degree aggravated assault and three counts of second degree official misconduct. Not only is Reiman accused of assaulting and causing significant bodily injury to the victim, he is also charged for failing to activate his body camera and for using excessive force. He was placed on paid leave from the Police Department while the case is pending.
Reiman appeared before Judge Michael Toto in Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick on Thursday, August 24th, with his friends and family in the gallery. His case will soon be presented to a grand jury, who will decide whether or not to indict Reiman. If he is ultimately indicted and convicted on these charges, he faces severe penalties.
Aggravated assault charges in New Jersey are governed by section N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(1) of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which delineates these offenses as either fourth degree, third degree, or second degree crimes. A person can be charged with third degree aggravated assault for causing or attempting to cause significant bodily injury to another. A third degree aggravated assault charge is punishable by between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Official misconduct bears even more serious consequences, as this is considered a second degree crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:30-2. According to this statute, “A public servant is guilty of official misconduct when, with purpose to obtain a benefit for himself or another or to injure or to deprive another of a benefit, he commits an act relating to his office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of his official functions, knowing that such act is unauthorized or he is committing such act in an unauthorized manner.” If Reiman is found guilty of official misconduct, he faces a term of imprisonment ranging from 5 to 10 years for each count.
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