Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Somers Point Police Officer Indicted on Nine Criminal Counts; Official Misconduct, Terroristic Threats, Aggravated Assault

MAYS LANDING – A Somers Point police officer was indicted yesterday on 9 criminal counts in connection with alleged acts of domestic violence against a female victim, and of witness tampering, committed in 2015 and 2016, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Diane Ruberton announced.
Yesterday, Tuesday, January 10, 2017, an Atlantic County Grand Jury indicted Samuel E. Clerico, 49, of Carriage House Lane, Egg Harbor Township for:

On December 15, 2015, in Absecon:
  • Official Misconduct, for “showing his police identification to obtain entry into the hotel room of the female victim, knowing that such act is unauthorized”—a 2nd degree crime,

On December 16, 2015, in Egg Harbor Township:
  • Terroristic Threats, to a female victim—a 3rd degree crime, 
  • Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, a “.40 caliber Glock 23 handgun”—a 2nd degree crime, 
  • Aggravated Assault, for “knowingly under circumstances manifesting indifference to the value of human life, point[ing] a firearm at or in the direction of” the victim—a 4th degree crime, 
  • Official Misconduct, for “discharging his duty weapon during an argument with” the victim—a 2nd degree crime,

On December 18, 2015, in Linwood: 
  • Witness Tampering, for “unlawfully and knowingly harm[ing]” Somers Point Police Sergeant “Howard Dill ... with purpose to retaliate for or on account of service of another as a witness,”—a 2nd degree crime,

On September 19, 2016, in Egg Harbor Township:
  • Aggravated Assault, for attempting to cause serious bodily injury against the female victim—a 2nd degree crime, 
  • Aggravated Assault while having a dating relationship and/or being a household—a 3rd degree crime, and 
  • Witness Tampering, by “knowingly attempt[ing] to induce or otherwise cause [the female victim] to recant her statement to police concerning the incident that occurred on or about December 16, 2015”—a 3rd degree crime. 

Egg Harbor Township Police arrested Clerico for the December 16, 2015 incident the same day. Clerico was released, after posting $2500.00 full cash bail set by Egg Harbor Township Municipal Court Judge H. Robert Switzer. 
Clerico was arrested two days later, charged with assault and witness tampering of Sgt. Dill, and was released on his own recognizance by Municipal Court Judge Howard Freed.
Clerico was arrested again the day of the September 19, 2016 incident, and was released after posting $10,000 full cash bail, set by Judge Switzer. By court order, Clerico was subject to GPS monitoring for one month, then was scheduled to regularly report in person to the court. 
Clerico is currently suspended without pay by the Somers Point Police Department. 
A conviction for a 2nd degree crime carries a potential penalty of 5-10 years of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison. The potential penalty for a 3rd degree conviction is 3-5 years in prison, and the potential penalty for a 4th degree conviction is up to 18 months imprisonment. 
Assistant Prosecutor Harlee Stein represented the State in the matter.
These charges are merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases, a charged defendant is presumed innocent unless and until 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. 


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