Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Deputy Chief Dennis McFadden of the Carteret Police Department said that a borough police officer was criminally charged today with assaulting and causing significant bodily injury to a teenager during an arrest last week.
Carteret Police Officer Joseph Reiman, 31, was charged with one, third-degree count of aggravated assault and three, second-degree counts of official misconduct.
He was charged during an investigation by Detective Andreea Zebib of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and Capt. Michael Dammann of the Carteret Police Department.
During the investigation, the following was determined:
While on official duty and in a patrol car, Officer Reiman was pursuing the teenage driver, when the teen crashed his car into a utility pole guide wire. The airbags were deployed.
After the teenager exited his vehicle, Officer Reiman, while on top of the teen, punched the teen several times with a closed fist.
Following the assault, an ambulance was not called to the scene. Instead, the teenager was placed in a patrol car.
While Officer Reiman failed to activate his body-worn camera, the patrol car video captured much of the scene. The video is not being released to the general public at this time, as the investigation is active and ongoing.
Furthermore, given that the teenager is a juvenile, his name is not being released by law enforcement at this time.
Investigators charged the officer with three counts of official misconduct for assaulting the teenager, failing to activate his body-worn camera, and failing to use reasonable discretion or restraint in the amount of force used to apprehend the teenager.
While the criminal charges are being prosecuted by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, a referral has been made to the United States Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, concerning the federal civil rights of the teenager.
The investigation is active and is continuing.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Zebib of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4274, or Capt. Dammann of the Carteret Police Department at (732) 541-3898.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Reiman are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.