New Jersey — Two police officers have pleaded guilty to vandalizing the cars of a man who filed a complaint against them.
Police officers Stephen Martinsen and Thomas Dowling were previously with Asbury Park police at the time and confessed to slashing tires of two cars and breaking the windows in one car, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.
The incident happened back in September 2019. In the statement from the prosecutor’s office, the officers admitted their act of vandalism was an act of retaliation because the car owner filed an internal affairs complaint against them with Asbury Park.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office did not disclose what the complaint was about.
Martinsen and Dowling caused more than $500 in damage, the statement said.
As part of the plea agreement, the Martines and Dowling are required to pay the damage costs and are permanently banned from any public service employment in New Jersey.
Martinsen had been suspended without pay since the incident occurred, while Dowling was fired when charges were originally filed, the statement said.
The police officers will be sentenced on October 16, however, prosecutors have recommended probation once the officers pay for the damages as part of their plea deal.