NJ State Police trooper faces prison after stalking female driver
A 30-year-old state trooper has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge related to an incident in which he stalked a female motorist in his patrol vehicle while on-duty, Acting state Attorney General Andrew Bruck announced Tuesday.
Michael Patterson, of Bayonne, admitted that he purposely disabled the digital recording device in his patrol car, so that he could hit on a woman during a traffic stop the night of Jan. 28, 2020.
Patterson had first pulled the woman's vehicle over along the New Jersey Turnpike around 9:30 p.m. and let the woman go with a warning. Shortly after, he stopped her again after she exited the Turnpike at Exit 11, without further reason that to hit on her, Bruck said.
He pleaded guilty on Monday in Middlesex County Superior Court to a charge of fourth-degree tampering with public records.
Under a plea deal, the state will recommend that he be sentenced to 12 months in state prison without possibility of parole, according to Bruck.
Patterson also must give up his job as a state trooper and will be permanently barred from public employment.
“We are committed to holding law enforcement officers accountable when they abuse their positions of trust,” Bruck said in a written release.
“The conduct revealed in this investigation stands in stark contrast to the core values of the New Jersey State Police and is a betrayal to the public and to the entire law enforcement community,” State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick Callahan said in the same release.
Sentencing is slated for October 18.