Asbury Park police Officers Stephen Martinsen, 29, and Thomas Dowling, 26, allegedly vandalized two cars in separate incidents in Ocean Grove and Asbury Park early Tuesday, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.
Both cars belonged to the same man, who days before had filed an administrative complaint against Martinsen and Dowling.
“The vast majority of law enforcement officers perform their duties with integrity and honor. However, when a police officer takes advantage of the very citizens they are sworn to protect, it erodes public confidence and violates the public’s trust,” prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a statement.
The officers were arrested Tuesday and face charges of conspiracy, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, criminal mischief and unlawful possession of a weapon.
“I just wouldn’t think it would be in the scope of police officers to do something like that,” he said, declining to say why he had filed complaints against the officers.
“I’m a concerned citizen, outspoken critic of Asbury Park Police Department. But this goes behind the pale,” he said.