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In the Interest of B.N.

April 19, 2011


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Atlantic County, Docket Nos. FJ-01-2384-09 and FJ-01-0771-10.

Per curiam.




Submitted March 30, 2011

Before Judges Simonelli and Fasciale.

B.N, a sixteen-year-old juvenile, appeals from an adjudication of three acts of delinquency that, if committed by an adult, would constitute disorderly conduct, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2a(1); fourth-degree aggravated assault against a police officer, N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5); and third-degree conspiracy to violate the public alarm statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-3a and N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2. The adjudications for disorderly conduct and aggravated assault on two police officers resulted from a trial, and B.N. thereafter pled guilty to an unrelated conspiracy offense. The judge sentenced B.N. on all three adjudications to a term of probation for one year, and imposed various conditions, penalties, and fines. We affirm.

On November 9, 2009, the judge conducted the bench trial and considered testimony from Officer Peter Calabrese, Officer Jose Rodriguez, Detective Andrew Dodson, B.N., and B.N.'s thirteen-year-old brother. We gather the following facts from the evidence presented at the trial.

On May 26, 2009, at around 6:00 p.m., Officer Calabrese and his partner Officer Rodriguez conducted surveillance while sitting in a parked police cruiser. They observed a speeding Mercedes, pulled it over, and approached the driver, B.N., who failed to produce either a license or a permit to drive.

B.N. asked Officer Calabrese "[w]hat the fuck did you pull me over for, pussy?" B.N. continued to use obscenities and made verbal threats. Officer Calabrese asked B.N. to exit the car, B.N. uttered more profanities, and a crowd of eight or nine juveniles gathered. The officer instructed B.N. that he would be arrested unless he calmed down, but B.N. ignored the warning, raised his voice, and used more obscenities. Officer Calabrese arrested B.N. for disorderly conduct, handcuffed him, and placed B.N. in the police car. On the way to the police station, B.N. continued to call the officers "pussies" and threatened to "beat [their] asses if [they] were out on the street."

When they arrived in the station, B.N. continued to yell, curse, and threaten the officers as they walked through a hall to the juvenile bureau. They entered the bureau, which was filled with other juveniles, and B.N. asked Officer Calabrese to remove the handcuffs so B.N. could fight him. The officer walked B.N. to an area near the rear of the juvenile bureau and B.N. continued to state loudly, in front of other juveniles, that "[y]ou're a pussy, I'm going to internal affairs, you can't do anything to me." B.N. acted as if he was on stage, threatened a civilian clerk in the bureau area, and called her a "bitch." The other juveniles cheered on B.N. and started yelling at B.N. and to one another.

While Detective Dodson assisted Officer Calabrese to process B.N., the obscenities and threats continued. B.N. stated to the detective "[t]ake these cuffs off and see what I'll do," and repeatedly called the detective a "pussy." At one point, Officer Calabrese removed the handcuffs to process B.N., but B.N. attempted to punch and kick the detective and lunged at Officer Calabrese. As a result, they handcuffed B.N. to a restraint on the wall.

B.N. testified that he did not threaten anyone, was polite, and never raised his voice. B.N. explained that he allowed the officers to handcuff him and was fully cooperative. B.N. denied making any loud comments at the juvenile bureau, accused the detective of striking him, and believed that he was arrested without any reason. B.N.'s brother testified that he observed the police pull over the Mercedes and arrest B.N. According to his brother, B.N. cooperated, threatened no one, and never raised his voice.

On November 9, 2009, the judge found the testimony of the police officers credible and rejected the testimony of B.N. and his brother. He found the testimony of the brother to be "very confused." In adjudicating B.N. a delinquent, the judge found "that there was disorderly conduct, one act of disorderly conduct from the time of the arrest to the point ...

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