Newly Retired Scotch Plains Police Chief Caught On Camera In Alleged DUI Crash
SOUTH PLAINFIELD – According to police reports, 51-year-old Brian T. Mahoney, the newly retired Scotch Plains police chief, was charged with DUI after a crash that took place last month.
Mahoney’s blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was recorded nearly three times the legal limit. The dashcam video available as police evidence showed that Mahoney would not answer any questions asked by the officer during the investigation.
Mahoney had been serving as police chief in Scotch Plains since the last 11 years. He recently retired in March. Just before the midnight of 10 September, Mahoney was charged with DUI after he allegedly crashed his Dodge Durango into a utility pole on New Durham Road.
A blood test taken after the crash revealed Mahoney’s blood alcohol content at 0.23 percent, almost three times the legal limit of 0.08%. His blood sample was drawn at a local hospital where Mahoney was taken for treatment of injuries.
A police dashcam video was obtained which contained audio interviews of witnesses who were present at the scene of the accident. According to witnesses, Mahoney was urinating in the street and hiding bottles from his car in nearby bushes.
When responding officers arrived at the scene, they found Mahoney slurring his words. He was also swaying and staggering, and leaning on his SUV. He had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath while he struggled to stand on his own. There was also a wet spot on his pants.
At first, Mahoney told the officer that he was not injured. He also didn’t remember why he veered off the road, but later admitted that he was on his cell phone while driving.
As the officer issued him field sobriety tests, he turned his microphone on to record his answers. However, Mahoney didn’t reply to several questions the officer asked.
“We’re on tape, alright. So I’m letting you know right now we’re going through this process,” the officer says.
“I understand. I understand. There was an accident,” Mahoney says.
The officer then asked him about his highest level of education twice which he didn’t answer. He then asked him if he was injured in the crash, to which he eventually answered that he was injured. “Yes … my head is killing me,” replied Mahoney.
Paramedics were called to the scene of the crash. Mahoney was not subjected to the tests which is the required police procedure when a driver is injured.
Two witnesses at the scene spoke to the police. One of them, a woman, said she saw Mahoney urinating in front of his wrecked car before police arrived. The witness also advised the police as to where exactly he urinated.
“I turned onto the street and as I was passing, the guy was just getting out of his car and he was urinating right in the middle of the street,” she said. “He was very nonchalant about it.” The witness asked not to be identified by name.
The second witness, who identified himself as Suresh Keswani, said he lives directly across from the crash site on New Durham Road. He said that as Mahoney walked back to his car after the crash, he went to him just to make sure that he was okay.
“He had a bag or something he was trying to throw in bushes and then he came back and sat in the car with the door open. When I asked him if he was okay, he didn’t respond,” stated Keswani.
As another officer arrived the scene of the accident, he told the on-duty officer that they may have to get a warrant to question Mahoney as he was being very hostile.
The dashcam video also records several first responders helping Mahoney back up from the curb as he appeared to struggle to his feet.
Mahoney was then taken to the hospital where he was asked to consent to a blood test. Although he initially agreed to the test, he later changed his mind saying that he may not be making a sound decision by agreeing to the tests due to his head injury. A search warrant was later granted by a judge for Mahoney’s blood to be drawn. However, as the nurse attempted to draw his blood, Mahoney was very uncooperative and was continuously moving his arm.
Mahoney was later picked up from the hospital by a current Scotch Plains officer.
Joshua McMahon of Schiller McMahon in Westfield, Mahoney’s lawyer, stated that he was not in agreement with the South Plainfield police department’s disclosure of the records related to Mahoney’s crash and DUI charge.
“My client is disappointed that members of the profession he’s given his whole adult life to would conspire to illegally disseminate confidential law enforcement records in an attempt to prevent Brian from getting a fair trial,” said McMahon. “We are confident that the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, led by a career prosecutor in Andrew Carey, will investigate, arrest and prosecute those responsible for this illegal dissemination of confidential government records and violation of Brian’s constitutional rights.”
According to records, Mahoney became chief in 2005. He had been an officer in Scotch Plains for 30 years.
Mahoney’s first hearing in South Plainfield municipal court is scheduled for 2nd of November.
News Source: www.NJ.com