Frank M. Nucera Jr., the former South Jersey police chief charged last month with a federal hate-crime assault and a civil-rights violation against a young black man, was indicted Thursday on the same charges and the added offense of lying to the FBI.
Nucera, 60, the former Bordentown Township police chief, was charged by a grand jury with making false statements when he was interviewed by FBI agents last December about the violent arrest of an 18-year-old man on Sept. 1, 2016 in which Nucera allegedly grabbed the handcuffed suspect and slammed his head against a metal door jamb.
Nucera later made a series of anti-black remarks that were secretly recorded by an officer in his department, prosecutors said.
In the original complaint and subsequent indictment filed in federal court in Camden, the suspect — Timothy Stroye, who was identified in court papers by prosecutors simply as “Civilian 1” — was accused of not paying a motel bill at the Ramada in Bordentown. Stroye was pepper-sprayed and handcuffed and was being led to a police cruiser when Nucera, who had responded to a request for backup, grabbed his head and shoved it into the door jamb, prosecutors said.
During a Dec. 22, 2016 interview with the FBI, Nucera was questioned about the incident and repeatedly said he did not touch Stroye, of Trenton, who is now 19.
Prosecutors alleged that Nucera frequently used the n-word and other racial slur, said blacks are “like ISIS, they have no value,” and used police dogs to intimidate black spectators at high school basketball games.
“The conduct alleged is a shocking breach of the duty of every police officer to provide equal justice under the law and never to mistreat a person in custody. As a result, the former chief of police is now a charged federal criminal defendant,” Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick said in November.
Nucera has been free on $500,000 bail while he awaits trial.
He could not be reached Thursday night for comment.
Nucera joined the Bordentown Township Police Department in 1983 and served as chief from 2006 until he abruptly retired in January following the FBI interview.
He was earning more than $150,000 annually as chief and now receives an annual pension of $105,992.76, according to public records.