FREEHOLD – A suspended Asbury Park police officer and one former special law enforcement officer are now facing additional charges relating to two separate vandalism incidents from September 2019, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Asbury Park Police Officer Stephen Martinsen, 30, of Asbury Park, and former Asbury Park Police Special Law Enforcement Officer, Class 2, Thomas Dowling, 26, of Asbury Park, are charged with two counts each of second degree Official Misconduct relating to two separate incidents of vandalism to two vehicles, both owned by the same person. One vehicle was parked in Ocean Grove and the other was located in Asbury Park, both were vandalized between approximately 3-4 a.m. on or about Tuesday, September 3, 2019.
It is alleged that Officer Martinsen and Special Law Enforcement Officer Dowling did purposely damage both vehicles. The vehicle owner had filed an administrative complaint against both officers several days before the vandalism incidents. Dowling and Martinsen had previously been charged with two counts each of third degree Conspiracy, two counts each of third degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Knife), two counts each of fourth degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Knife), two counts each of fourth degree Criminal Mischief.
Martinsen has been part of the department since 2013, starting as a Special Law Enforcement Officer, Class 1 in May of 2013, becoming a Class 2 in May of 2014 and then becoming a full-time member of the force since July of 2017. Dowling has been a Class 2 officer since May of 2015.
As a result of the original charges, Martinsen has been suspended without pay and Dowling’s employment with the city of Asbury Park has been terminated.
If convicted of second degree charges, Martinsen and Dowling face up to 10 years on each charge in a New Jersey State Prison and a possible five year period of parole ineligibility.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibilities and Bias Crime Unit.
Dowling is represented by Lisa Krenkel, Esq. of Allenhurst
Martinsen is represented by Joseph S. Sermon, Esq. of Freehold
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.