Wanaque, NJ cop caught on video with woman in patrol vehicle
A Wanaque police officer was apparently caught allowing a woman to play in the front seat of his patrol vehicle in a commercial parking lot, according to a video taken by a concerned and aggravated citizen.
The videographer asks the officer if he is OK. But when the young officer answers in the affirmative, the tone turns confrontational.
"Is this normal procedure? You have a female sitting in your vehicle playing with lights and doing everything like that? I already called the police department, I talked to your sergeant. This is completely inappropriate. What the f**k is going on here right now?" the man taking the video asks.
As the woman comes out the driver's side door, the officer identifies himself as J. Rodriguez, which is also written on his vest. The man also asks the woman for her name as she stands with her back to the camera but she doesn't respond.
The man points out that the parking lot is located in Ringwood, which Rodriguez incorrectly says is part of Wanaque.
"This is appropriate officer: Yes or no?" the man asks.
"You're right. It's not," Rodriguez said.
After the man tells the woman to leave the parking lot, Rodriguez walks the woman to her car parked in another area of the parking lot.
"I don't know what the problem is," Rodriguez said.
"You don't know what the problem is? We pay taxes here. That's the problem. It's totally, completely inappropriate. That's the problem. Because there are laws that you have to obey. That's the problem. Because if I was breaking the law, you'd be f**king arresting me. That's the problem," the man said.
As Rodriguez walks back to his vehicle the man tells the officer he is posting the video to YouTube.
"Making you famous," the man says.
Rodriguez was parked in a lot next to Damas Auto Repair, which has housed two restaurants, according to Google maps and Google Street View
The video was posted to the YouTube account of Damien Wesler on June 10, 2021 but its not clear when the incident took place.
Pubic records indicate a Jeromy Rodriguez has worked as an officer since 2017. A photo on the department Facebook page shows him being sworn in on Feb. 11, 2020 and said he is a lifelong Wanaque resident who transferred from Passaic.
Wanaque Police Chief Robert Kronyak said in an email to New Jersey 101.5 that he is aware of the video and it is being investigated but could not comment further.
An officer listed on the Fraternal Order of Police Facebook page as the department union representative did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information on Friday afternoon.