Local/State

NJ lawmaker claims he was target in DUI stop

Friday, October 19, 2012

A New Jersey assemblyman stopped for DUI in July is turning the tables on the officer who pulled him over.

"This person stalked me and targeted me for two miles down the Blackhorse Pike and then fabricated a story to pull me over," said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty.

Newly released video shows Moriarty driving his dark blue Nissan Murano down Blackhorse Pike on July 31.

On the video, Officer Joseph DiBuonaventura makes a u-turn and eventually pulls behind Moriarty.

As Moriarty continues driving, he changes lanes using his signal and gets off at Greentree Road, before pulling into a parking lot. The officer follows.

Officer DiBounaventura tells the assemblyman to get out of the car.

"I feel you are out to get me here," Moriarty says on the video.

The officer conducts a series of DUI tests. Moriarty is then handcuffed and arrested for DUI.

Defense lawyers say the video clearly shows Moriarty did not break the law.

"Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, certainly a video in this case," said John Eastlack, defense lawyer.

Frank Rogers is a former lieutenant colonel with the New Jersey State Police.

"The evidence clearly contradicts the police report that the police officer filed. There was no probable cause to precipitate that stop," said Rogers.

Moriarty refused a breathalyzer test, claiming that it's because he felt targeted and hadn't had a drink. Had he taken the test, he could have been exonerated.

For now Moriarty is still charged with DUI. He won't say why he believes he was targeted and whether it may have been political.

"I'm not going to speculate on his motive here. You're going to have to ask him. I'm the victim here. So I don't have to come up with a motive for the perpetrator. I wasn't doing anything wrong," he said.

Moriarty says Officer DiBounaventura was once fired for lying during a police internal affairs investigation.

Neither the officer or any other township officials were available for comment.

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DUI, new jersey, local/state
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