Police in New Jersey State are investigating complaints of a high-speed caravan of sports cars, reportedly including former New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, to Atlantic City last month in a death race. The alleged race incident occurred March 30. Witnesses complained to the state Turnpike Authority and described it as “Fast & Furious” with one police cruise in front of the caravan and another trailing in back.
There was one witness who went into more detail about what he saw as flashing lights popped up in his rear-view mirror. He literally had to “speed up” to pull off the road to get out of the way. The luxury cars raced by at speeds upward of 100 mph and their license plates were taped over, according to Turnpike Authority spokesman Tom Feeney.
There was another witness who said the cars were weaving “dangerously in and out of traffic” at high speeds.
“We will not tolerate any conduct by a member of the State Police that puts the public in jeopardy, as this unauthorized caravan had the potential to do,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said. “We are thoroughly investigating this incident, and those responsible will face serious discipline.”
The state attorney general’s office announced Monday night that Sgt. 1st Class Nadir Nassry and Trooper Joseph Ventrella have been suspended without pay as the alleged escort is investigated. Nassry has been with the state police for 25 years and Ventrella for six years.
Nassry’s attorney, Charles Sciarra, said in a statement that his client had been scheduled for an interview about the incident earlier in the day but was suspended before the interview took place. He implied that the attorney general’s office was swayed by news coverage that started with The Star-Ledger of Newark’s first reporting the alleged incident on Sunday.
“We hope that the powers that be will take a breath, exhale and engage in a fair investigative process with which we will continue to cooperate,” Sciarra said. “Either way, we will not permit Sgt. Nassry to be sacrificed to satisfy a public-relations agenda.”
It wasn’t immediately known if Ventrella had an attorney.