A New Jersey State Police trooper from Bayonne has been charged with unlawfully stopping a woman to hit on her and then following her home earlier this year, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Trooper Michael Patterson, 28, of Bayonne, was charged today by complaint summons with third-degree criminal deprivation of civil rights, fourth-degree stalking, and fourth-degree tampering with public records, Grewal said in a statement.
The New Jersey State Police Office of Professional Standards initially investigated this matter and referred it to the Corruption Bureau within the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, which filed the criminal charges today and is prosecuting the case.
The investigation revealed that on January 28th, 2020, Patterson conducted a motor vehicle stop of a female motorist on the New Jersey Turnpike at approximately 9:30 p.m.
Patterson let the woman go with a warning, but he allegedly conducted a second, unwarranted stop of her vehicle a few minutes later when she exited the Turnpike at Exit 11.
The trooper is then accused of conducting a second motor vehicle stop in order to make unwanted advances on the woman. Prior to this stop, Patterson allegedly disabled the Digital In-Vehicle Recorder (DIVR) in his vehicle to prevent his conduct from being recorded.
It is further alleged that Patterson subsequently made the woman fearful by following her to her home in his patrol vehicle.
Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of $10,000.