Cops: Trooper offered to pay not to report crash
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — An on-duty New Jersey state trooper accused of driving drunk had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit when he crashed into another car at a rest stop on the Garden State Parkway last month, police records show.
Documents obtained by NJ.com through an open records request showed Sgt. 1st Class Michael Roadside's blood-alcohol level was 0.16 percent. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.
The driver of the other car claimed the trooper offer her $1,000 if she agreed not to report the incident, which occurred on Oct. 26 around 2 p.m.
"I asked him if he was a police officer because he was a mess," said Kimberly Wilson, of Lincroft. "His shirt was inside-out, his hair was disheveled, his belly and back were exposed."
Wilson said she yelled at a visibly intoxicated Roadside to get back in his car because he was scaring her before she called 911.
Sgt. Matthew Durak wrote in his report that when he arrived at the scene he "immediately noticed a very strong smell of an alcoholic beverage" emanating from Roadside, who he said had what appeared to be vomit on his shirt.
Roadside told Durak that he hit Wilson's vehicle after she had stopped short, but Wilson claimed Roadside rear-ended her while she had been stopped at a stop sign. A diagram of the accident scene released Tuesday corroborated Wilson's story.
Durak's report states that Roadside's speech was slurred and he claimed "I've been way more drunk than that" when the results of his blood-alcohol test were announced.
Roadside was charged with DWI, careless driving and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle. He remains suspended without pay.
State police say an internal affairs investigation is ongoing.
Roadside's attorney, Robert Ebberup, said his client was a dedicated trooper for about 29 years and isn't commenting on the allegations.