Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Former Officer's Troubles Mount

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Former Officer's Troubles Mount

Article excerpt

A former Passaic County sheriff's officer who allegedly crashed into a police car and other vehicles while being chased last month will have his case heard by a grand jury, court officials said Friday.

Richard Coviello, 37, of Wayne, fled after police were called to investigate a harassment complaint at the Little Falls Pharmacy on Route 23 on May 10, later crashing into a tractor-trailer and a Totowa police cruiser on the Garden State Parkway and two other cars in Saddle Brook, police said. He was caught after running out of gas on the Palisades Interstate Parkway in Fort Lee, they said.

Coviello was charged with eluding and aggravated assault of a police officer and is being held in the Hudson County Correctional Center in Kearny in lieu of $100,000 bail, officials said. He was moved from the Passaic County Jail because he used to work there as a corrections officer, authorities said.

He faces additional charges in Morris County stemming from a Jan. 31 arrest at a Parsippany hotel for allegedly being in possession of a Lexus RX350 that had been reported stolen in Rochelle Park on Jan. 13. The Parsippany police said in a statement that he also possessed what appeared to be a police-issued pepper spray can and billy club, and two Passaic County Sherriff's Office badges.

Coviello was released on his own recognizance after being charged with receiving stolen property and possession of a prohibited weapon, the Parsippany police said. Those charges will be heard by a Morris County grand jury, according to court officials in Morristown.

Bill Maer, a spokesman for Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik, said authorities were not able to determine whether the badges were authentic. He said the Sheriff's Office recently began imbedding electronic chips in badges to thwart attempts to replicate them, or to misuse badges that have been lost or stolen. …

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