Friday, February 20, 2015

Absecon Dispatcher Charged with Aggravated Manslaughter in Connection with Fatal Pedestrian Accident

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – A Galloway Township man was arrested this afternoon, charged with aggravated manslaughter in connection with an early-morning February 6th crash that killed a 29-year-old man walking on Tilton Road, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain announced.
On February 6, 2015 at approximately 1:30 a.m., Galloway Township Police responded to Tilton Road for a motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian. The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Crash Unit also responded to the scene.
Upon arrival police found the body of Alfonso Dickerson, 29, who had been struck by a vehicle driven by Richard Doherty, 36, of the 1000 block of Bally Bunion Drive, in Galloway Township. Dickerson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Preliminary investigation determined that Dickerson was struck while walking on the southbound shoulder of Tilton Road.
Doherty was taken into custody at the scene, and charged with Driving While Intoxicated.
As a result of a continuing investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Fatal Crash Unit and the Galloway Township Police Department, Doherty was charged today with aggravated manslaughter—a 1st degree crime—for “recklessly causing the death of Alfonso Dickerson under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, specifically by driving while highly intoxicated.”
Doherty was arrested without incident in Pleasantville. Doherty was lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility in lieu of $200,000 full cash bail set by Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Mark Sandson.
Doherty is employed by the Absecon Police Department as a telecommunications supervisor.
A conviction for this crime carries a potential sentence of 10 to 30 years of incarceration in New Jersey State prison.
These charges are merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases a charged defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.***

Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652- 1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.


Anonymous said...


I notice the headlines on all media publish "Absecon dispatcher" however, while employed by the City, this position is NOT a law enforcement position is it?
So, I read somewhere he was attending the recent Chief's promotional party after the "traditional" swearing in (after all, Police Officers are sworn in when they first become police officers, and change of rank DOES NOT really require a "swearing in again" since it's the same oath, they just change ranks - so in reality, ONE career swearing in is enough. Does previous "oaths become negated"? NO.
Getting back to this story, the employee of the city is an emergency employee, but not a sworn police officer, has no law enforcement authority, and is considered a 'civilian' employee (newsflash; you're all civilians, police officers swear an oath, but they're STILL civilians). The question is was he good at his job? By all accounts from the mayor he was.
So let's get back to this promotional party, who was in attendance? I'm sure the Chief was there, I'm sure other high-ranking officials were also. A smart and prepared supervisor (Chief) is smart enough to leave a party such as that before anyone else, it gives them time and distance (commonly known as plausible deniability). They will never admit that, just like they won't ever admit they all knew this employee was intoxicated along with others there, and yet both his "friends/co-workers, and more importantly, the staff and management of the establishment ALLOWED this customer to become that intoxicated and ALLOWED him to get behind the wheel.
Perhaps the NJ ABC needs to conduct an investigation into this, and see just how many other violations occur at this location. I would guess, this is a very popular establishment in the area, might even check their elevation????
I would also hope the someone would be able to check and make sure this person was not stopped by a police officer somewhere along his path home and allowed to continue driving.
From other reports, this wasn't the first incident involving intoxication in this persons career, maybe first with this City. But I have to think this isn't the first "party" he's attended, you mean all these trained observes, who are charged with enforcement of the laws, specifically the driving while intoxicated laws, FAILED to ever notice a pattern of intoxication upon him? There is NO way this is the first (or second) time his co-workers/friends allowed him to consume uncontrollably, and get behind the wheel.
There is NO way, someone he worked with didn't take notice to his intoxication. Yet, they ALL allowed him to drive away. I do realize his actions are HIS responsibility, but whatever happened to "friends don't let friends drive drunk"?
I feel horrible for the victim and his family, but I also feel horrible that NOT ONE person who worked with him had the courage to stop him from getting behind the wheel.
The new Chief and the Mayor of that City should investigate who was still at the establishment with him, and allowed him to get behind the wheel and also hold THEM accountable for their direct "failure to act" in knowing their co-worker was about to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. You know those same laws, they all took an OATH to uphold?
Please Mr. Mayor, step up and do the right thing? This man's actions ruined his life, there is no doubt about that. The thing which is troublesome is those people he worked with had the opportunity and they failed us all. I'm sure it wasn't just one of them either.
At the end of the day; you're all quick to claim "We're on duty 24/7", but it seems you've forgotten you "duty to perform" that night.

Anonymous said...

I think this guy will take a plea bargain, otherwise he will probably go to prison for the full 30 years on the 1st degree crime. I don't think there is too much wiggle room here. I think the state has a very strong case against him based on the fact that he was highly intoxicated and had no business being on the road that night under any circumstances, period.

Allacesmg said...

Wonder if this will be swept under the rug as far as the PBA party and the HighPoint after party are concerned. Someone dies because of over serving. Some kid doesn't have a father now. Why was he served so much alcohol? Do the bartenders at skellys high point have proper training?

Anonymous said...

The moral of the story here is the bar which served him to the point of being intoxicated should be held responsible, bartenders are trained to know when someone is too intoxicated to consume more alcohol, why was this case any different ? Yes he has to take responsibility for what he did however the fact that he was highly intoxicated impared him, so any good lawyer can defend that as well as the responsibilty falling back on the bartender and the bar for not taking action to prevent this.

A couple years ago the same type of incident happen in Vineland and after the court battles the judge ruled that the bar was ultimately responsible for the events that took place and the bar lost its liquor license for 3 years as a result of the incident, so before everyone jumps to the conclusions that its one persons fault or the other persons fault we need to let this case go to court and be handled by the right people.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous- It sounds like your taking a very tragic situation and using it as a platform for a personal vendetta against the bar. It's obvious you or your spouse is involved in law enforment or maybe even a high ranking official at the A.C.P.O. Stop with your personal agenda and let the families start to heal.

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