BERKELEY — A longtime officer with the Lakewood police is charged with punching an opponent at a men's softball game so hard that the victim required surgery.

Officer Patrick Carney, 50, was pitching for his team at the Veterans Park ball game on June 1, according to a criminal complaint obtained by New Jersey 101.5.

"I can only confirm that the allegation is currently under investigation by our Internal Affairs unit," Lakewood police Capt. Gregory Staffordsmith told New Jersey 101.5.

The affidavit stated that around 9:30 p.m. victim Ryan O'Rorke was up to bat. He swung at a thrown pitch and made contact.

The ball went right back to the pitcher's mound and hit Carney. Police said this ignited an argument at first base between O'Rorke and Carney's team.

It started with "arguing and shoving," but quickly escalated when Carney punched O'Rorke on the right side of his face, according to the complaint. O'Rorke requested medical aid at the scene.

The complaint said that the game's umpire and players from both teams witnessed the violent punch.

The next day, O'Rorke went to Community Medical Center in Toms River for a CT scan. It revealed a "closed tripod fracture of right zygomaticomaxillary complex," according to the complaint. O'Rorke went for surgery for the fracture on June 15.

Carney is charged with aggravated assault by causing significant bodily injury. He had a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday at Ocean County Superior Court.

Ocean County Prosecutor's Office spokesperson Bryan Huntenberg told New Jersey 101.5 that the incident was being investigated.

"We are aware and this matter is currently under investigation by the Berkeley Township Police Detective Bureau," Huntenburg said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A file photo of Veterans Park used in an earlier version of this story has been removed because it identified a softball league not associated with this incident.

Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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