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Somers Point police officer indicted in domestic violence, witness tampering case

Somers Point police officer indicted in domestic violence, witness tampering case

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A Somers Point police officer was indicted Tuesday on nine counts in a case that involves accusations of domestic violence and witness tampering.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Diane Ruberton said Samuel E. Clerico, 49, of Egg Harbor Township, used his police identification to gain access to the hotel room of a woman he was in a relationship with on Dec. 15, 2015, in Absecon.

The next day, in Egg Harbor Township, the two argued, and during the argument Clerico pointed his .40 caliber Glock 23 handgun at the woman and fired a round in her direction, according to a news release. Clerico threatened to kill the woman and to shoot her and customers at her place of business, according to previous reports. The charges do not indicate the business name or address.

Clerico was arrested Dec. 16, 2015. He was released after posting $2,500 bail.

Two days later, Clerico allegedly attacked Somers Point police Sgt. Howard Dill for giving investigators Clerico’s cellphone number, authorities said. He was charged with witness tampering and released on his own recognizance.

Then on Sept. 19, 2016, Clerico was charged with assaulting the woman again in an attempt to get her to recant her statement to police about the original incident. He posted $10,000 bail and was required to wear a GPS monitor for a month.

Clerico is charged with two counts of official misconduct, terroristic threats, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of witness tampering.

All of the charges are second-degree or third-degree offenses.

A conviction for a second-degree crime carries a potential penalty of five to 10 years in state prison. The potential penalty for a third-degree crime is three to five years in prison.

Clerico is suspended without pay from the Somers Point Police Department.

Contact: 609-272-7090 Twitter ACPress_Hughes

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