NJ cop used police resources to stalk ex-lover’s new friend, lawsuit says
LACEY — An Ocean County high school teacher and assistant football coach has filed a lawsuit against police officers who he says looked up his license plate without probable cause.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Trenton, Warren Smith accused seven Barnegat police officers, including Kevin Mason and Christian Negron, of looking up Smith's license plate because Mason was upset that he had befriended the cop's ex-girlfriend.
Smith is a teacher at Lacey Township High School and is the assistant boys basketball coach. He formerly played football for Lacey. He later played college football at the University of Maine and pursued a semi-pro career. He is currently a member of the Jersey Flight indoor football team.
In the lawsuit, Smith said he went out with the woman on a friends-only basis with several co-workers. The officers stalked, harassed and intimidated Smith in retaliation for befriending Mason's ex, he said.
The conflict between Smith and Mason came to a head when Mason followed Smith and a woman home from dinner at Caffrey's Tavern on Feb. 21, according to the lawsuit. Mason parked in front of Smith's home and began to shout at him. When Smith left to take his friend home, Mason followed Smith using his high beams as a distraction.
Smith dropped his friend off at her house in a cul-de-sac and was blocked by Mason's vehicle, according to the lawsuit. Mason yelled “What the f**k is wrong with you! You’re ruining my relationship" and pushed Smith to the ground.
Barnegat police Chief Keith Garmain arrived and interviewed Smith, who told him about the look-ups, according to the lawsuit. Garmain told Smith that several look-ups had been conducted.
Smith wants compensatory and punitive damages and attorney’s fees.