JCPSOA Pres. Robert Kearns, James Carroll picked up Vincent Corso from Robbinsville after suspected DUI

Official reports from the Robbinsville Township Police Department reveal that then-Sgt. Robert Kearns, President of the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association (JCPSOA), and Lt. James Carroll picked up Sgt. Vincent Corso, VP of the JCPSOA, after he was taken into custody for suspected DUI on January 30, 2014.

SOURCE: Facebook - Mayor Fulop & Jersey City Youth Foundation Turkey Distribution on November 23, 2013

From Left to Right: Lt. James Carroll, Mayor Steven Fulop, Ex-Chief Robert Cowan, and JCPSOA Pres. Robert Kearns. SOURCE: Facebook – Mayor Fulop & Jersey City Youth Foundation Turkey Distribution on November 23, 2013

Official reports from the night Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) Sgt. Vincent Corso was taken into custody by the Robbinsville Township Police Department (RTPD) for suspected DUI reveal that then-Sgt. Robert Kearns and Lt. James Carroll picked up Corso from the Mercer County township.

BACKGROUND

Kearns and Corso are the President and VP of the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association (JCPSOA). According to multiple sources, Carroll, who is also a lawyer, serves as the full-time assistant to Kearns in the union office, a position created through collective bargaining agreements.

Video from Corso’s detainment in Robbinsville, NJ on the night of January 30, 2014 can be seen below (notable interaction begins after 9:50 mark):

Corso’s detainment is at the heart of an alleged cover-up that former Chief Robert “Bubba” Cowan claims occurred in a lawsuit recently filed in New Jersey Superior Court – which he accuses Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Public Safety Director James Shea, and others of participating in.

Through research and documentation since Cowan’s lawsuit, it has been discovered that Corso is the officer who tragically shot and killed fifteen-year-old Michael Anglin in 2000 near the intersection of Bayview and Arlington Avenues. Through Corso’s own admission, under questioning from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO), it has come to light that he was at a local tavern hours before the shooting of Anglin.

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS

Investigation reports obtained through an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request reveal that the two main RTPD patrol officers involved were Shawn Bruton and Barbara Borges.

Bruton, the officer who pulled Corso over, claims the he initially noticed Corso’s driver side headlight out. Once the pursuit began, Bruton claims he saw the suspect’s vehicle “moving from left to right traveling with the passenger side tires crossing over the center white dotted line,” while accelerating “at a high rate of speed.”

Bruton claims to have paced the vehicle at over 70 miles per hour.

After pulling over Corso, and Corso attempting to exit the vehicle, Bruton opened the passenger door. Upon opening the door, Bruton stated that he “was able to detect an overwhelming odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from within the vehicle.”

Corso provided Bruton with a “yellow colored badge,” an expired Jersey City Police Identification Card, and his driver’s license.

Once in his vehicle, waiting for dispatch to confirm Corso was an employee with the JCPD, Bruton wrote that Corso “staggered towards his patrol car” to inquire why he was being pulled over.

While determining a course of action, Borges arrived at the scene, prompting Corso to exit the vehicle once again. At that point Borges would not allow Corso to operate the vehicle, and eventually Corso was disarmed of his service weapon and taken into custody on suspected DUI.

The police reports extensively detail Corso’s resistance to being disarmed of his service weapon, and both Bruton and Borges filed Use of Force (UoF) reports regarding the incident. Both UoF reports stated that Corso was “Under the Influence” and “Resisted police officer control.”

Below are Bruton and Borges’ statements on the disarming of Corso:

Shawn Bruton Statement

Shawn Bruton Statement

Barbara Borges Statement

Barbara Borges Statement

As mentioned in Bruton’s statement, and identified in the Found Property Report, Corso had 14 Hollow Point 9MM Ruger Rounds in addition to his JCPD service weapon (Glock 19).

According to RTPD Sgt. Eric Bakay’s report, who was briefed at the scene after Corso was taken into custody, he also detected “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from [Corso].”

Bakay states that it was his decision “to contact a supervisor of the Jersey City Police Department to advise him of the situation (in hopes that a fellow officer would be detailed to respond to RTPD Headquarters to take custody of MR. CORSO’S handgun, uniforms and to ensure that MR. CORSO was taken home safely without further incident).”

Bakay relayed that message to Corso, which can be seen below:

JCPD’S ROBERT KEARNS, JAMES CARROLL, AND MARK HUSSEY INVOLVED

Bakay states that he initially contacted RTPD Lt. Michael Polaski, and then contacted Captain Mark Hussey, regarding someone from the JCPD taking custody of Corso.

Hussey assured Bakay that “he would be detailing an officer to respond to RTPD to assist with our requests,” and soon thereafter Hussey advised that a JCPD sergeant would be responding.

Of note, on January 28, 2000, then-Lt. Hussey was, to Corso’s “belief,” the desk man the night of his fatal encounter with Anglin.

The Sergeant who responded to the RTPD requests was Kearns, accompanied by Carroll. Kearns was promoted to Lieutenant by Mayor Steven Fulop in October of 2014.

Regarding the action of RTPD officers during the Corso detainment, Robbinsville Mayor Dave Fried previously provided this statement to Real Jersey City:

The decision made by the Robbinsville Police Department to turn the officer over to the Jersey City Police Department on the night in question was a judgement call, and the course of action taken by our officers was responsible and professional. Ultimately, discipline for the officer should be left in the hands of the Jersey City PD. There was no criminal wrongdoing or misconduct on the part of our officers. I have consulted with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and I have been informed this traffic stop does not warrant an independent, Internal Affairs investigation.

COWAN LAWSUIT

Details from Cowan’s suit state that the officer on duty failed to notify internal affairs, as required by JCPD rules and regulations, but instead allegedly ordered two other off-duty officers – supposedly active in the JCPSOA – to travel to Robbinsville to pick up the officer and retrieve his weapon.

Cowan also stated that the officer, now identified as Corso, had notably been involved with other job-related incidents where they were intoxicated.

Furthermore, details from the suit state that on January 31, 2014, the officer’s service weapon, supposedly contained in a Dunkin Donuts bag, was allegedly turned over to JCPD Internal Affairs along with “intentionally ambiguous reports concealing the true nature of the occurrence.”

Cowan claims that he directed an internal affairs investigation on that day, and that it be turned over to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office (HCPO) since the matter involved potentially criminal conduct.

NO COMMENT FROM FULOP ADMINISTRATION, JERSEY CITY POLICE SUPERIOR OFFICERS ASSOCIATION

Jersey City Spokesperson Jennifer Morrill, as well as a representative of the JCPSOA, did not respond to emails seeking comment on the RTPD investigation reports, nor whether they believed Kearns and Carroll followed proper JCPD protocol when they picked up Corso from Robbinsville, NJ.

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