Former Bordentown Township police chief Frank M. Nucera was indicted Dec. 7 on one count of hate crime assault, one count of deprivation of civil rights under color of law and one count of making false statements. Nucera was charged last month with a hate crime and a civil rights violation against Timothy Stroye, a then-18-year-old black man. The false statement charge is new with the indictment.
Nucera, 60, retired earlier this year — while he was under FBI investigation. A BTPD officer recorded the former police chief and township administrator making racist comments, including comparing black people to ISIS, using racial slurs and claiming to use police dogs with the intent to intimidate.
The criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office against Nucera also states that the then-police chief assaulted Stroye at the Bordentown Ramada on Sept. 1, 2016. A pair of BTPD officers responded to a phone call from a hotel employee, who claimed that two teenagers stayed in a hotel room without paying. The situation escalated into a physical confrontation, and the officers called for backup. Several additional officers, including Nucera, arrived at the scene.
According to the complaint, two officers were escorting Stroye—handcuffed and in custody—out of the Ramada and into a police cruiser when Nucera allegedly approached him from behind and slammed his head into a doorjamb, as witnessed by a BTPD officer. Another officer later added that Stroye was no longer resisting at the time of the assault. In the complaint, the officer said he didn’t report the use of excessive force, because he was afraid Nucera would retaliate.
According to the indictment provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI agents interviewed Nucera about the September incident on or about Dec. 22, 2016. During the interview, which was video recorded, Nucera falsely stated multiple times that he didn’t touch, talk to or see Stroye or his companion.
“And you didn’t cuff anybody?” one agent asked.
“I didn’t touch, I didn’t touch any of them…I had nothing to do with the physical arrest or anything, no,” Nucera replied, according to the indictment.
Nucera is free on $500,000 bail while he awaits trial.