Fort Lee Police Disciplined for Locking Teens in Van

By Brian Thompson
|  Sunday, Jun 26, 2011  |  Updated 8:13 PM EDT
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Police Disciplined for Locking Teens in Van

Nearly a dozen Fort Lee police officers have been disciplined after five teenagers were left locked for hours in a police van in northern New Jersey.      

The boys were among a group of 20 who were rounded up in Fort Lee after neighbors complained about a loud house party in March.  NBC New York broke the story at the time.

The van was parked at police headquarters and the teens said they were "stranded'' for more than 14 hours with no food, water or cell phones.  The boys said they were released after an officer heard them making noise.      

Mayor Mark Sokolich told The Record newspaper Police Chief Thomas Ripoli determined the incident was "human error.''  The officers were reprimanded through demotion, suspension without pay or a combination of the two.

Hours after NBC New York reported the story in March, the borough suspended three officers for the involvement in the debacle.

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