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N.J. Chief Accused of Pinning, Threatening Officer

A probable cause hearing has been scheduled for South Hackensack Police Chief Michael Frew for allegedly pinning a township patrolman against a wall and threatening him.

The hearing is set for next month in Hackensack in front of Presiding Judge Roy F. McGeady of the Bergen County municipal division.

The three complaints filed against the chief by Police Officer Glen Evans allege aggravated assault, harassment and official misconduct. Copies of the complaints obtained by The Record through an Open Public Records request state that the alleged incident occurred on May 26.

The complainant on the summons is listed as a "private citizen," at 227 Phillips Ave., the address of police headquarters.

The summonses allege that while the officer was on duty and in uniform, Frew committed aggravated assault and caused bodily injury by charging the officer from "across the room and choking him with on [sic] hand around his neck while holding him pinned against the wall."

Another complaint, alleging harassment, states the chief subjected the officer to "shoving and offensive touching," specifically by pinning the officer against the wall by his throat. The same complaint also alleges that Frew called the officer on the telephone and threatened him, saying "there will be a price to pay for your actions."

The official misconduct summons alleges that Frew's actions "constituted an unauthorized exercise of his official function with purpose to injure another person knowing that such act was committed in an unauthorized manner."

Evans declined comment, and Frew did not return calls.

Mayor Walter Eckel said that he didn't know if Frew had an attorney, and reiterated that the Township Committee will allow the courts to handle the matter.

Township Attorney David Nasta said he didn't know whether the Township Committee would direct its special litigation counsel to attend the probable cause hearing. The matter has not been placed on the agenda for discussion at the Township Committee's next regular meeting either, he added.

"That process has to play out in court and the Township Committee will react accordingly," he said.

Nasta said he was told the complaints were filed on June 21, but was not aware whether any type of investigation occurred between the day the alleged assault occurred until Evans filed the complaints in South Hackensack, nearly a month later.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said in an e-mail last week that his office would only have jurisdiction over the matter if McGeady rules that the complaints can move forward.

E-mail: alvarado@northjersey.com

What's next The hearing has been scheduled for Aug.11 at 9 .a.m. at the Bergen County Justice Center, 10 Main St. in Hackensack, in front of Presiding Judge Roy F. McGeady of the Bergen County municipal division.


 

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