This fantastic piece of literature from nj.com came my way today:
A Robbinsville police officer who attacked a woman in a wheelchair and her 4-year-old child last year while he was allegedly suffering from a psychological disorder will resign from his job, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said yesterday.
Charges against Sgt. Mark Lee, 45, will be dropped after he successfully completes a three-year pretrial intervention program. As a condition of admission to the program, Lee must forfeit his police job, said Casey DeBlasio, spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office.
“He didn’t intend anything that occurred that day,” said Lee’s attorney, Charles Sciarra. “He feels awful for the people that are involved.” [Ed note: including himself, I’m sure.]
Lee, a 19-year veteran of the police force, allegedly broke into an apartment at Project Freedom, an independent-living facility for people with disabilities, on Sept. 17, 2012, and assaulted the boy and his mother, who at one point was knocked out of her wheelchair. Lee also struggled with the family’s home health aide as the father, also in a wheelchair, was in the living room and unable to help, authorities said. [Ed. note: The orphanage down the street was too easy of a target]
When other officers reported to the apartment in response to a 911 call for a woman being choked, they found Lee partially clothed on the couch, authorities said. [Ed. Note: OMG Yes. Why are we not being told his exact outfit? Like, I need to know if he was watching tv in his boxers stroking his mustache.] After a struggle, the officers arrested him. Lee later broke out of the patrol car he was in by kicking out a window, and was captured after fleeing. [Ed. note: This guy deserves a fucking medal.]
Lee pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and official misconduct in Superior Court Judge Gerald Council’s court yesterday, the prosecutor’s office said in a news release.
The victims were in court yesterday for Lee’s hearing, DeBlasio said.
“Mark Lee was a great police officer; he had a traumatic psychological incident and he is disabled,” Sciarra said. [Ed. note: He has recently signed himself up for the waiting list at Project Freedom apartments.]
The prosecutor’s office has described Lee’s condition as calcium deposits on his brain.
Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried called Lee’s assault an “unfortunate incident” and said the township was “ready to do anything” to help the family of the victims.
“The most important thing for Mr. Lee is to focus on getting healthy,” Fried said. “It would probably be impossible for him to continue on as a police officer while trying to do that.”
Sciarra said that his client had been a great police officer, but felt that the deal they made with the prosecutor’s office worked.
“It’s an appropriate resolution; my client couldn’t be charged with committing this because he didn’t have the mental ability,” Sciarra said.
In addition to having to forfeit employment with the police department, and avoid any future government employment, Lee must continue to receive psychological and medical treatment and avoid any future contact with the victims, the release said.
It is also important to note that “three Bibles were found on the seat of his patrol car parked outside Project Freedom.”
Now, how can the public really be angry about this? Dude, he did everything he could. He broke into a group home for the disabled, hopefully in his police uniform, choked the wheelchair-bound wife, dominated a 4-year-old, and finally got his hands on the TV remote. I hope he got to finish Leave it to Beaver before his buddies got there. And come on, anyone who has ever been in the back of a police car can understand the compulsion to just kick the fuck out of those windows, with that heavy wired grill separating you from the front seats, taunting you with its impenetrable superiority, “winners in the front, losers in the back!” Officer Lee had enough of that shit for one day.
The NJ Justice system has a long record of holding their own to a higher level of moral responsibility.
Please also see the story of the Naked Cop:
In July 2005, Mpletsakis was driving home from a friend’s house when he struck the rear end of a box truck on Route 27 in Edison. Mpletsakis had been driving naked because his swimming trunks were still wet from swimming in his friend’s pool.
After the accident, Mpletsakis fled the scene and was found by police in a nearby bush.