Bordentown, NJ police chief charged with drunk crash and leaving scene, reports say
BORDENTOWN – One of Burlington County's top cops is accused of crashing while driving drunk and leaving the scene.
Bordentown Police Chief Brian Pesce faces charges for five traffic offenses. NJ Advance Media first reported that they include drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage, failing to report an accident, and reckless and careless driving.
The crash reportedly occurred in Mercer County at around 10:30 p.m. Friday evening. Pesce's pick-up truck left a wake of property damage in Hamilton at the intersection of Bruin Drive and Terrapin Lane.
Bordentown Administrator Michael Theokas confirmed the crash to New Jersey 101.5 in a pre-written statement.
"The Township Committee is aware of the traffic charges that have been issued to Chief of Police Brian Pesce as a result of a traffic incident on Friday night, April 22nd. At this time, Chief Pesce has been placed on restricted duty until further notice pending the investigation results. The Township has no further comment at this time."
Theokas did not respond directly to a question of whether other members of the department would be handling some of Pesce's responsibilities while he is on restricted duty.
Pesce’s attorney, John Hartmann, told KYW Newsradio that he pleads "not guilty."
Pesce joined the Bordentown police in 1998 and was promoted to chief in 2018. He took the top position following the resignation of disgraced former Chief Frank Nucera in Feb. 2017.
Nucera was convicted on charges of lying to the FBI as the result of an Oct. 2019 trial. However, two juries ended up deadlocked on related hate-crime charges that alleged Nucera abused a black teenager in handcuffs. Nucera is set to report to prison on April 30.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Pesce testified against Nucera at the first trial, calling his former boss angry and vindictive. Pesce has since initiated several reforms to increase "transparency" and "accountability."