EDITOR’S NOTE: A story published online Friday about Eric Richardson, a State Police trooper charged with official misconduct, criminal coercion and tampering with public records, among other offenses, erroneously included a photo of another trooper. That trooper was not involved in the incident and is in no way associated with the previously reported story.
A state trooper was indicted Thursday on charges he pulled over two women and pressured them to give him their phone numbers and date him, according to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal.
Eric Richardson, 32, of Camden, is charged with official misconduct, criminal coercion and tampering with public records, among other charges, in the incidents — including one in Atlantic City — and then allegedly trying to cover up his actions, Grewal said in a statement.
On Nov. 22, 2016, Richardson pulled over a woman and said her windows were illegally tinted and that her registration was expired. Richardson let the woman go without a ticket but immediately pulled her over again and pressured her to give him her phone number, according to the statement. Later, he allegedly sent numerous texts to the woman through the number she gave him.
On Jan. 3, 2017, Richardson pulled the woman over again in Atlantic City and asked if she was getting his text messages, Grewal said. He then allegedly falsified the police report by saying he stopped to aid a motorist.
On Dec. 23, 2016, Richardson pulled over a different woman in Gloucester Township and threatened to arrest her if she did not give him her phone number, according to the statement.
“Police are given great authority and are rightly held to the highest standards of integrity,” Grewal said in a statement. “When officers abuse their authority, as alleged in this case, they must be held accountable. Public trust and public safety demand it.”
If convicted on the official misconduct charge, Richardson could be sentenced to five to 10 years in prison and be fined $150,000. He could also be sentenced to shorter terms in prison if convicted on the rest of the charges.
Richardson has been suspended pending a resolution to the criminal case.