NJ Troopers Suspended Over Car Escort Allegations

The sergeant allegedly involved has been suspended, NBC New York has learned

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    NEWSLETTERS

    New Jersey's attorney general and state police are investigating allegations that members of the department used police vehicles to escort more than two dozen exotic cars down the Garden State Parkway to Atlantic City last month.

    The complaints, leveled by private citizens and relatives of former state police officers, allege that a group of luxury cars, including Porsches and Ferraris with taped-up license plates, raced down the parkway with two police escorts -- which had flashing emergency lights on -- leading and trailing the convoy.

    NBC New York has learned that the 47-year-old sergeant involved has been suspended without pay for his alleged role in the race. His lawyer says his client, who has been a trooper for 25 years, is cooperating with the investigation and didn't do anything seriously wrong.

    Another 28-year-old trooper has been suspended without pay, and the Totowa station commander has been transferred "until any potential involvement on his part has been determined," said the attorney general's office.

    Gov. Chris Christie said Monday that the race was "a dumb thing to do," and said the one consolation is that no one got hurt.

    In complaints obtained by The Star-Ledger, witnesses say they observed cars going more than an estimated 100 mph, following the lead police car.

    "I noticed that many cars were struggling to get out of their way safely," wrote John Kennedy of Madison, whose complaint, along with that of another witness, was sent to the Turnpike Authority on March 30 and April 1.

    The sergeant's lawyer, Charles Sciarra, said the race was done at the request of former Giants star Brandon Jacobs, who has known the sergeant for years and was among those driving in the caravan. Jacobs' agent confirmed that Jacobs was part of a ride to Atlantic City.

    A state police source told NBC New York that the drive was not authorized by anyone other than the sergeant involved, who was in the lead car.

    The source said complaints have come from both the family of a retired trooper and the family of an active trooper, who said regular motorists were put in danger during the drive.

    A video of reportedly similar activity in 2010 was obtained by nj.com, and police say they are investigating that race as well. Watch below:

    Jacobs, who signed with the San Francisco 49ers in March after being released by the Giants, is a known car aficionado. He spoke about his collection of cars in an interview with Rides Magazine in 2011.

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