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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Public Information Office (609) 882-2000
Capt. Albert Della Fave  x6514
Lt. Gerald Lewis  x6516
Sgt. Stephen Jones  x6513
Sgt. Jeanne Hengemuhle  x6515

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 06, 2006


 
 
CUMBERLAND COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING STATE TROOPER AFTER FLEEING MOTOR VEHICLE STOP
Attorney General's Shooting Response Team
Investigated 2004 Bridgeton City Incident

Trenton - Attorney General Zulima V. Farber announced that a Cumberland County resident has been charged by the Division of Criminal Justice with assaulting a state trooper after fleeing a motor vehicle stop. The State Grand Jury indictment results from a December, 2004 incident in Bridgeton City after the defendant disobeyed the trooper's order, fled the scene of a motor vehicle stop, and resisted arrest by assaulting the trooper. The investigation was conducted by the Attorney General's Shooting Response Team.

The State Grand Jury indictment charged Parker Allen Custis, 32, State Highway 77, Bridgeton, Cumberland County, with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, hindering apprehension or prosecution, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). Custis remains incarcerated in the Cumberland County Jail on unrelated robbery and CDS charges. Custis faces up to 15 years in state prison upon conviction of all third degree charges contained in the indictment.

The Attorney General's Shooting Response Team investigation determined that the incident occurred on Dec. 17, 2004 when Trooper Sheila McKaig, assigned to the Troop A Tactical Patrol Unit, was on patrol in Bridgeton City. At approximately 9:03 p.m., Trooper McKaig observed a motor vehicle violation and proceeded to stop Custis while operating a 1991 Ford Taurus. During the motor vehicle stop, Custis exited the vehicle. Trooper McKaig ordered Custis to return to the vehicle. Custis ignored Trooper McKaig's order and fled the scene on foot with Trooper McKaig in pursuit. Trooper McKaig encountered Custis behind 154 West Commerce St. where Custis resisted arrest, a violent struggle ensued, which resulted in the aggravated assault on Trooper McKaig. Trooper McKaig fired a single shot during the encounter. The shot did not hit Custis. Bridgeton City police officers responded to the scene, observed the violent struggle, and assisted in the arrest. Subsequent to the arrest, marijuana and crack cocaine were recovered.

The Attorney General's Shooting Response Team investigation determined that Trooper McKaig's use of force was legally justified. Trooper McKaig, 35, graduated from the 122nd State Police Recruit Training Class in May, 2001. Trooper McKaig remains assigned to the Troop A Tactical Patrol Unit.

The State Grand Jury indictment was handed-up to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Linda R. Feinberg on Feb. 2. An indictment is merely a charge. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The case has been assigned to the Cumberland County Superior Court for trial. Deputy Attorney General Martin Mooney of the Division of Criminal Justice presented the case to the State Grand Jury.

Additional information, including a copy of the State Grand Jury indictment, is available on the Division of Criminal Justice web page at www.njdcj.org.

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