🔵 NJ cops charged with misconduct

🔵 Allegations involve domestic assault response

🔵 Incident was before NJ department takeover

Three Paterson police officers have been accused not properly investigating domestic violence by an NYPD captain.

On Monday, 34-year-old Jason Schmid, of Vernon, and 42-year-old Giuseppe Ciarla and 29-year-old Juan Cruz-Fernandez, both of Paterson, were arrested in Totowa.

They are charged with second-degree counts of official misconduct, conspiracy to commit official misconduct and hindering the apprehension of another.

Cruz-Fernandez was also charged with third-degree tampering with public records or information.

All three officers have been suspended without pay, according to a spokesperson for the police department, via the state Attorney General's Office.

SEE ALSO: NJ police officer indicted for shooting Paterson man in back 

Paterson police vehicle
Paterson police vehicle (Paterson police)

Cops responded to domestic violence assault

On Dec. 10, 2022, Schmid, Ciarla and Cruz-Fernandez responded to a domestic assault around 3:05 a.m.

A female victim had visible injuries to her face when the trio arrived.

A man at the scene, Hariton Marachilian, identified himself as a captain with the New York City Police Department.

Marachilian said numerous times that he and the victim were in a relationship — one that is covered by the state’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, prosecutors say.

Hariton Marachilian arrested in December (Passaic County Prosecutor's Office)
Hariton Marachilian arrested in December (Passaic County Prosecutor's Office)

Despite those details, the three officers did not properly investigate how the victim was injured, did not treat or arrange for treatment of the injuries and did not search for or collect physical evidence, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes said.

Marachilian was then allowed to drive away from the scene without being charged with any domestic violence offenses at the time.

A police report submitted after the incident described it as having “no evidence of domestic violence” and that “[b]oth parties said there was no dating relationship.”

Officers accused of not properly investigating domestic assault (Canva))

It was only after an investigation by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office Domestic Violence Unit that Marachilian was arrested and charged with criminal offenses for his conduct that early morning.

Last month, a Passaic County Grand Jury indicted Marachilian on first-degree kidnapping, two counts of second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree criminal restraint and fourth-degree criminal coercion.

Read More: State takes over Paterson, NJ police amid 'crisis of confidence' 

Attorney General Matt Platkin announces the takeover of the Paterson police department
Attorney General Matt Platkin announces the takeover of the Paterson police department (AP Photo/Mike Catalini, File)

Incident was before NJ department takeover

The domestic assault happened months before the state Attorney General’s Office took control of the Paterson Police Department.

In March 2023, NJ Attorney General Matthew Platkin said, “Due to a number of events and concerns relating to the Paterson Police Department, there is a crisis of confidence in law enforcement in the City of Paterson.”

Officer-in-charge Isa Abbassi was then appointed to oversee the department.

Abbassi was previously the NYPD Chief of Strategic Initiatives.

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