An officer of the Carteret Police Department has been charged with three counts of official misconduct, third-degree aggravated assault and was suspended from the police force after he reportedly beat a local teenager and failed to activate his body camera during the encounter.
Officer Joseph Reiman, 31, who also happens to be the brother of Carteret Mayor Dan Reiman, was charged in early June, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey.
The 16-year-old victim, who was said to have sustained “significant bodily injury” in a press release issued by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO), was being pursued by Reiman when he crashed his car. Too young to drive alone in New Jersey, the teen said he panicked and hit the gas before he lost control of the car.
When the teen exited the vehicle, Reiman got on top of him and punched him, some reports say up to a dozen times. No ambulance was called to the scene, and the teen was instead put into a squad car. The arrestee, a minor, has not been named.
The teen’s attorney, Hassen Ibn Abdellah, said his client suffered lacerations to the face that are not consistent with injuries that would be caused by an airbag in a car crash.
“Whatever happened, the kid’s face speaks for itself,” Abdellah said. “There is no way a motor vehicle crash injured my client’s face,” adding that the injuries were “consistent with being punched and kicked, not an airbag.”
Monte Stewart, a man who claims he is the 16-year-old’s father, took to Facebook to voice outrage over the incident, claiming his son was a victim of police brutality and posting pictures of the teen in his hospital bed:
The teen has since been released from the hospital.
The three official misconduct charges pertain to Reiman’s alleged assault of the teen, his failure to turn on his body cam and failure to use reasonable discretion or restraint in his use of force.
While the MCPO press release said dash-cam footage captured much of the scene, the statement said the video would not be made public, as the investigation is ongoing.
Carteret’s mayor, Dan Reiman, issued a statement soon after the incident, but made no mention of the fact that the offending officer was his brother.
“The borough expects all of its employees and especially its law enforcement personnel to exhibit the highest level of professionalism in the discharge of their duties,” the statement said. “Failure to live up to that expectation will result in appropriate corrective action.”
Officer Reiman is scheduled to appear in the courtroom of Judge Alberto Rivas at the Middlesex County Courthouse for a pre-indictment conference on July 27.
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