Carteret police officer charged with assault for allegedly punching teen

Saturday, June 10, 2017
NJ officer charged with assault for allegedly punching teen
AJ Ross reports from Carteret, New Jersey.

CARTERET, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey police officer is under arrest, accused of assaulting and causing injury to a teenager.

Repeatedly punched, kicked, and cuffed following a car crash at Edwin and Bergen Street last week, criminal charges were filed Friday against a Carteret police officer accused of beating a 16-year-old boy.

The teen's family posted pics of his injuries on social media and are now speaking out demanding justice.

"I just wanted to get my son to the hospital as quick as possible," said Russell Stewart, the boy's father. "It looked like his jaw, head was broken."

Stewart describes his 16-year-old son as good kid who didn't deserve a beat down like this.

"He needed to be rushed to the hospital, and I was wondering why they didn't do that at the scene," Stewart said.

Bloodied with his eyes swollen shut is how Stewart found his son at the Carteret Police Department last Wednesday after the teen got into a car crash.

Stewart's son was being pulled over by Officer Joseph Reiman, 31, just before the accident occurred.

Investigators say when the teen crawled out of the car, Reiman delivered a series of blows and eventually placed him in the back of a patrol car instead of calling for an ambulance.

"I looked, he hopped out the car, he went on his knees, hands in the air, the cop just hopped out the car and started attacking him," said Richard O'Neill, a witness.

Witnesses say the teen was screaming for help and other officers participated in the beating as well.

"I'm hearing him screaming, 'please I'm sorry, stop, somebody help me,'" O'Neill said.

"The conduct engaged in by this Officer Reiman far exceeded the force that was necessary to do anything, it's our opinion that there was no force necessary," said Eric Pennington, Stewart Family Attorney.

Investigators say Reiman failed to activate his body camera, but the patrol car video captured most of what happened.

That video along with witness accounts is now a part of an ongoing investigation by the Middlesex Prosecutor's Office who charges Reiman with assault and misconduct Friday.

"I'm happy that the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office conducted the investigation with integrity," said Hassen Abdellah, Stewart Family Attorney.

"I just want justice for my son," Stewart said. "I just want not to see things like this happen to anybody else's kid."

Reiman turned in his gun and badge and is suspended without pay. The teen is now out of the hospital and recovering at home.

The investigation is active and ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to call Detective Zebib of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office at (732) 745-4274, or Captain Dammann of the Carteret Police Department at (732) 541-3898.