A New Jersey judge who was pulled over for DWI in 2016 and beat the charge is still prohibited from hearing DWI cases, prompting an incident that brought old dashcam footage back to the forefront.
When Wilfredo Benitez was found passed out in the driver’s seat of his silver BMW at 2 in the morning, New Jersey State Police asked him to perform a sobriety test.
When he couldn’t pass it, he began telling them that he was a “fu**ing judge” and began acting disorderly.
Benitez,a municipal judge in East Orange, Belleville and Bloomfield, told one trooper he was “being a d**k” as the lawman read him his rights.
In court papers, the judge said he was “regretful and apologetic” about using foul language but denied any other wrongdoing. He would eventually beat the charge and carry on his position.
However, Benitez is now the subject of a criminal complaint, claiming that he has abused his position.
In a February court document filing, Benitez claimed that he told the troopers he was a judge because the handcuffs they placed on him were uncomfortable and he “intended to convey that the handcuffs were unnecessary since he was a judge and he was not going to harm them in any way.”
NJ Advance Media obtained dashcam footage and police reports, which show the judge parked on the highway shoulder, and troopers spending about three minutes trying to wake Benitez up.
When the troopers determined he was intoxicated (by smell and failure to pass sobriety tests), the judge became combative.
“You’re wasting your time and you know it,” Benitez said, repeatedly interrupting the trooper. “I’ll fight you. You know you’re being a d**k. I will f**king fight you.”
While he would blow twice over the legal limit later that night Judge McGeady, who heard the DWI case against Benitez, threw out the test results because of “discrepancies” regarding the timeline of the testing. Under Supreme Court rules on the use of breath-testing devices, a defendant is supposed to be observed for 20 minutes to ensure they have not vomited, chewed gum or done anything else to throw a test result.
According to NJ.com, Benitez will still have to appear before the state Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct to answer to the ethics complaint.
© 2018 Bright Mountain Media, Inc.
All rights reserved. The content of this webpage may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written consent of Bright Mountain Media, Inc. which may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, ticker BMTM.