FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Raymond Worrall
PHONE: (201) 795-6400 Ext. 6737
DATE: September 7, 2018
GRAND JURY RETURNS INDICTMENT AGAINST POLICE OFFICER IN OFF-DUTY INCIDENT
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:
On September 5, 2018, a Hudson County Grand Jury returned an Indictment against a Jersey City Police Officer who discharged his weapon this past July in Lincoln Park, Jersey City, while off-duty. The Indictment charged Cesar Celestino, age 46, of Jersey City, with seven counts related to the off-duty incident which occurred on July 28, 2018.
Celestino has been charged with Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S. 2C:39-4a(1), a second-degree crime; Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S. 2C:12-1b(3), a fourth-degree crime; Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S. 2C:12-1b(4), a fourth-degree crime; Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S. 2C:24-4a(2), a second-degree crime; two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of N.J.S. 2C:24-4a(2), a third-degree crime; and False Incrimination in violation of N.J.S. 2C:28-4a, a second-degree crime.
The Internal Affairs Unit of the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor arrested Celestino this morning after he surrendered himself without incident at the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in Jersey City. He is currently housed at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny, New Jersey.
Celestino made his first appearance on these charges via video link earlier today in Criminal Justice Reform Court in Jersey City.
This case was presented to the Grand Jury following an investigation by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Internal Affairs Unit. It is standard protocol for the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate any incident involving the discharge of an officer’s weapon in Hudson County.
The above charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6).
During the investigation, a video of the incident was obtained by detectives. In accordance with an Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive, a copy of the video has been made available to the public at the following link: JCPD Off-duty incident