Deal cop who was high, drunk in deadly crash had been suspended for possible drugs
The Deal police captain who had a cocktail of drugs and alcohol in his blood during an off-duty crash that took his life Jan. 2 had been suspended from the force for alleged drug use, according to multiple reports.
Chief Ronen Neuman told the Asbury Park Press Capt. Earl B. Alexander IV had been suspended without pay since August. He didn't say what prompted an investigation into Alexander, other than a reasonable suspicion he was using drugs.
Toxicology reports obtained by media organizations this week showed Alexander's blood contained a host of illegal substances — including several associated with so-called "bath salt" designer drugs. His blood also showed signs of a prescription antidepressant sold as Lexapro, prescription sleep medication sold as Ambien, amphetamine, and diphenhydramine, the chemical found in Benadryl.
The toxicology report also showed Alexander’s blood-alcohol concentration at .19 percent — more than twice New Jersey’s legal limit of .08 percent, an earlier report by the Press said.
According to the new Press report, Deal requires officers notify their department if they're taking any prescription medication; Alexander had not done so, it said. An investigation into where Alexander might have gotten drugs didn't turn up results, and no other members of the department have been implicated, Neuman told the Press.
Neuman also confirmed the internal affairs investigation — and another into Alexander's death — to NJ Advance Media. New Jersey 101.5 has not yet been able to reach Neuman or Borough administrator Stephen Carasia directly.
It wasn't immediately clear from the reports when authorities became aware of the drugs in Alexander's system. The toxicology reports were made public through records requests by media organizations that were answered this week.
According to the NJ Advance Media report, Alexander took part in celebrations for fire departments after swearing-in ceremonies — including his own, as assistant fire chief for Deal Fire Co. No. 2 on Jan. 1, several hours before the early-morning Jan. 2 crash.
Carasia, who also serves as the fire chief, told the news organization he didn't see Alexander drinking at those celebrations, but he didn't see Alexander late in the day.
It wasn't clear whether Alexander's suspension for suspected drug use was considered an issue for the fire department.
Alexander’s fiance, Krista Richter-DeLisa, told New Jersey 101.5 last month he’d been a “true leader.”
“He was loved by everybody and he loved his kids more than anything in the world. And he just loved to live life,” she said.
She described him as a huge NASCAR fan who enjoyed camping and country line dancing.
“He was a very hard-working and he put himself 110 percent into everything that he did and he loved his job. He always wanted to learn more,” she said.