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Trooper Shot at Fleeing Teens Who Accidentally Knocked at 2 AM

Image: Trooper Shot at Fleeing Teens Who Accidentally Knocked at 2 AM
(Alexandru Cuznetov/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 31 Jul 2015 04:03 PM

An off-duty New Jersey trooper allegedly fired three shots from his personal gun at fleeing teens after the three boys accidentally went to his home early Sunday. The teenagers said they were afraid for their lives.

The teens told NJ.com they mistakenly went to the man’s Sparta, New Jersey, front door around 2 a.m., thinking it was a friend’s house, and when they knocked, he began cursing at them and yelling through the door.

The teens ran back to their car and allege the officer came outside after them and fired shots as they pulled away, NJ.com said. But the police officer, who has not been officially identified, said he identified himself as law enforcement and told them to stop.

But in a release quoted by NJ.com, the Attorney General’s office said the trooper believed the boys were trying to get into his house, and when he followed them into the street, he fired shots when they didn’t stop.

The Sparta Independent reported that a statement from the AG’s office spokesperson Peter Aseltine said, "The preliminary investigation indicates that the trooper and his wife were awoken by the sound of the three young men knocking and making noise at their front door. The trooper went downstairs to investigate, armed with a personal handgun. After a verbal exchange through the door, the three young men fled.”

Jesse Barkhorn, 18, one of the teens involved, told NJ.com that he and his friends were grilled for nine hours by police after the incident, and were asked repeatedly whether they tried to swerve toward the officer. Barkhorn insisted that they didn’t, explaining, "That's the exact opposite of what we were trying to do. We were just scared and trying to get out of there with our lives."

Barkhorn identified his friends as John Baker, 18, and Matthew Mayer, 19, the news site said.

Former New Jersey county prosecutors told NJ.com the trooper could be in a lot of trouble for his actions, depending on the facts of the situation.

"This officer should have controlled himself," Ted Romankow, a former Union County prosecutor, told NJ.com. "To start waving a gun and shooting, I think is beyond the pale."

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An off-duty New Jersey trooper allegedly fired three shots from his personal gun at fleeing teens after the three boys accidentally went to his home early Sunday. The teenagers said they were afraid for their lives.
trooper, shot, fleeing, teens
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2015-03-31
Friday, 31 Jul 2015 04:03 PM
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