A Monroe Township police officer is accused of excessive force, false arrest, malicious prosecution, assault and civil rights violations, and more after running an innocent motorist off the road and putting a gun to his head in February 2017.
William Fulbrook says he briefly flashed his high-beams to register his disapproval after the vehicle, which turned out to be an officer in an unmarked police car, ran a red light and cut into his lane.
Because Fulbrook flashed his lights after witnessing the reckless driving, the officer, Matthew Buerklin, decided to run him off the road and put a gun to his head, according to True Jersey.
Fulbrook has filed a federal lawsuit against Buerklin, Monroe Township, and Police Chief John McKeown.
The lawsuit says that after Fulbrook flashed his high-beams, Buerklin pulled to the side of the road, let Fulbrook pass, then pulled behind him with his high-beams on. Buerklin then pulled alongside of Fulbrook and swerved into his lane “effectively running Plaintiff’s car off the road.”
Both vehicles stopped and Buerklin jumped out of his car with a gun in 1 hand and a flashlight in the other.
“Freeze, mother(expletive),” the officer yelled, putting the gun “very close” to Fulbrook’s head, the suit claims.
“How do you like that, mother(expletive),” Buerklin allegedly continued. “Now what are you going to do, mother(expletive)?”
Fulbrook begged the irate officer not to murder him.
As he continued to point his gun at the innocent men, Buerklin demanded his license and registration.
Fulbrook says that 6 police cars showed up about 20 minutes later. One of those officers apologized to Fulbrook and said Buerklin was ‘making them write him tickets’ according to the suit.
Officers gave the innocent man tickets for improper use of high-beams and following two closely, but both were later dismissed in municipal court.
Fulbrook reported the officer to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office in 2017. The office reviewed the matter and sent it back to the municipality, saying the officer had violated some Attorney General’s Office use of force guidelines, but that they would not bring criminal charges, Fulbrook’s attorney, Kevin McCann, said.
Police officials declined to comment on the litigation and would also not say whether Buerklin was disciplined for his horrendous actions.