Officials: Off-duty officer driving under influence in crash

February 28, 2018

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey police have suspended an officer, alleging that he was driving under the influence while off-duty when he crashed into a train trestle in December, injuring two passengers.

Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale said Wednesday that 22-year-old Christopher Astacio of Paterson was being suspended without pay pending termination. He was arrested the previous day and charged with third-degree and fourth-degree assault by auto and driving while intoxicated.

Police say the crash happened around 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 16 in Paterson. Investigators say Astacio and two of his passengers were injured, one seriously. Police haven’t disclosed the defendant’s blood-alcohol level.

Astacio is scheduled to appear in court March 14. A listed number for him couldn’t be found and the Paterson PBA Local 1 didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

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