Attorney for Linden cop: Client possibly drugged at strip club before fatal wrong-way crash

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Darla Miles reporting live in Staten Island.

The attorney for Pedro Abad, the New Jersey police officer charged in a deadly wrong-way crash in New York, suggested Thursday that his client was drugged while at a Staten Island strip club.

Attorney Mario Gallucci asked a judge for further tests to determine if someone in the club slipped Abad the drug GHB to get him to spend more money and lose some of his mental capacity.

He said he already had "found some medical evidence that could be interpreted to mean Mr. Abad was drugged with GHB" in the hours leading up to the wrong-way, double fatal crash on Staten Island in March. He said the use of similar date rape drugs to get patrons to spend more is a known practice in some strip clubs.

"I have a toxicologist who needs to take a look at the blood sample, so the district attorney is trying to see if there is an extra blood sample, he believes there is," said Gallucci. "Then we're going to try to do a chain of custody to get the sample to my toxicologist for him to review it."

The assistant district attorney told the judge he would determine if a blood sample is available. The next hearing date was set for Dec. 8.

"If we are able to prove that he was on the GHB at the time, there's a very good possibility the case could be dismissed," said Gallucci.

But Thomas Wols, the general manager of Curves, called the claim "ridiculous" and pointed to his two previous arrests for drunk driving, including one in 2013 in Rahway, N.J.

"This is their attempt to grasp at straws at their part and they're giving us a black eye in the process," he said.

Prosecutors have said that Abad, 28, crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer, and that tests later showed his blood alcohol content was 0.24. The legal limit in New York is 0.08.

Abad has pleaded not guilty to charges in a 27-count indictment that he was drunk behind the wheel in the crash on Staten Island that killed off-duty Linden police officer Frank Viggiano and friend Joseph Rodriguez, both 28. Officer Patrik Kudlac was critically injured.

Abad remains listed as suspended from the Linden Police Department pending an internal investigation.

Eyewitness News has learned that there is surveillance video from the strip club from the night of the incident that could also play a part in the investigation.
Related Topics:
accidentcrashwrong wayofficer chargedLinden
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