Former Bordentown Township police chief and township administrator Frank Nucera will be back on trial early next year.
Nucera, 62, was indicted in late 2017 on charges of hate crime assault, deprivation of civil rights and making false statements after he was accused of slamming 18-year-old Timothy Stroye’s head into a door jamb during a 2016 incident at the Bordentown Ramada. The case went to trial earlier this year. Nucera was convicted in October of lying to the FBI, but the jury could not come to a decision on the other two charges. The retrial is set for March 16, 2020.
The jury deliberated for eight days but could not come to a consensus on the hate crime and civil rights charges, according to a state District Attorney press release.
The complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office against Nucera states that the then-police chief assaulted Stroye, then 18, at the Ramada Sept. 1, 2016. Two Bordentown Township police officers responded to a call for a hotel employee, who claimed that Stroye and a companion stayed in a hotel room without paying. The situation turned physical, and the responding officers called for backup. Several others, including Nucera, arrived at the scene.
According to the complaint, two officers were escorting a handcuffed Stroye out of the hotel and into a police cruiser when Nucera allegedly approached him from behind and slammed his head into a doorjamb. After the incident, an officer added that Stroye was not resisting arrest at the time of the assault, and that he didn’t report the use of excessive force because he was afraid Nucera would retaliate. Nucera falsely stated multiple times in an interview with FBI special agents that he did not touch Stroye during the arrest.
Nucera was later secretly and legally recorded by township officers using racist language to refer to Stroye and his companion, saying, “These f***ing people should stay the f**k out of Bordentown” and added that “it would have been nice” to use police dogs during the arrest because, according to Nucera, “That dog, that dog will stop anything right then and there [makes dog noises]. I’m telling you. You’d have seen two f***ing n*****s stop dead in their tracks. I love when they do that. I just love that.”
That wasn’t the first time Nucera was reported to have used racist language. According to the complaint, he has a history of using racial slurs and making racist comments about black citizens and repeatedly used police dogs to intimidate black attendees at Bordentown Regional High School basketball games.
Nucera was also recorded in late 2015 saying to another officer, “I wish that n****r would come back from Trenton and give me a reason to put my hands on him, I’m tired of ‘em. These n*****s are like ISIS, they have no value. They should line them all up and mow ‘em down. I’d like to be on the firing squad, I could do it. I used to think about if I could shoot someone or not, I could do it, I’m tired of it.”
Nucera was first indicted Dec. 7, 2017. He quietly retired earlier that year, before the investigation was made public.