NJ cop in deadly crash wasn’t offered alcohol treatment after DWIs, lawyer says
The Linden police officer charged with two counts of murder in a crash on the Staten Island Expressway was never offered alcohol treatment following two previous charges of driving under the influence in 2011 and 2013, his attorney said.
Pedro Abad's lawyer told NJ Advance Media that he does not believe Abad is an alcoholic but thinks he should have received treatment for addiction rather than discipline after those two previous incidents. An investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office into how Linden Police's Internal Affairs Department disciplined Abad focused on "highlighted deficiencies," but did not publicly elaborate on their concerns.
"I know here in New York when a department has an officer who they believe has an alcohol or drug problem, they try to give assistance. Yes, they do things like take their badge or gun away, but in addition they send them for the help needed, so they can come back a better person," attorney Mario Gallucci told NJ Advance Media.
Abad is alleged to have had a 0.24 blood alcohol level and drove a high rate of speed on the West Shore Expressway during the head-on crash in the early morning hours of March 20. He pleaded not guilty to 27 charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, reckless endangerment and other crimes in the crash which led to the deaths of Linden Officer Frank Viggiano and friend Joe Rodriguez. Two other drivers in the crash, Eddy Canela and Adrien Cedeno, suffered serious injuries.