MAYS LANDING — A suspended Atlantic City police officer allegedly headbutted and choked a woman last month.

Sterling Wheaten, 35, who was arrested Sept. 28 in Margate and is awaiting a federal trial related to an excessive force case, has been charged with simple assault, court records show. He was processed and released the same day as his arrest.

Wheaten’s attorney, Lou Barbone, did not respond to a request for comment.

Wheaten also is charged with third-degree terroristic threats and second-degree endangering, abuse or neglect of a child, court records show. He is scheduled to appear for a pre-indictment conference at 8:45 a.m. Nov. 13 before Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Waldman.

At 1:07 a.m. Sept. 28, Margate police Officer Jake Rando responded to a home for a health and welfare check after the department received a 911 call, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

The address of the home and the names of the victims, a woman and a child, were redacted from the report.

When Rando arrived, he could hear a woman crying and the voices of a man and a young child inside, according to the affidavit. Rando knocked, announced himself and other officers arrived.

A woman came out of the home, crying, according to the affidavit, and was escorted away.

Wheaten told police there had been a “verbal altercation,” court records show.

The woman told police Wheaten “headbutted her and grabbed her around the head and back of the neck while shaking her and threatening to stop her breathing … dragged her, causing a bruise on her thigh,” the affidavit states.

The incident happened in front of the child, the document states.

Wheaten was indicted in October 2018 on deprivation of rights under color of law and falsification of records in a federal investigation related to the violent 2013 arrest of 25-year-old David Connor Castellani outside Tropicana Atlantic City. He is awaiting trial in that case.

Contact: 609-272-7241

mbilinski@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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