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Officer body slams his police chief after he showed signs of being drunk at a crime scene

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Jeff Goldman
nj.com

A police chief in a Jersey Shore town remains on administrative leave more than three months after he had a physical altercation with one of his sergeants.

Multiple police body-worn cameras recorded the incident on Nov. 9 between Chief Leonard Guida and Sgt. William Major on Main Street in Bradley Beach. News of chief’s suspension was first reported by TapInto.com, which obtained the body worn camera footage following an Open Public Records Act request.

In the videos, Major is seen investigating a crash involving a suspected drunk driver. Guida, who is off-duty, can be seen and heard chiding the sergeant about his clothing, prompting a scuffle between the two.

Guida declined to comment when reached by NJ Advance Media on Wednesday, saying, “I’m sorry sir, I have no comment.”

Major is back on the job, TapInto.com reported.

According to one of the videos, Guida approached Major as the sergeant investigated the crash on Main Street. The chief commented about the condition of Major’s jacket, then grabbed the sergeant, the video shows. That started a brief physical altercation between the two in which Major pushed the chief onto the hood of a police car.

The two then started verbally sparring. They traded comments, including the chief telling the sergeant he was “relieved” and to meet him at the police station. “That’s an order,” the chief said.

Toward then end of the video Guida said, “You know I love you,” to Major.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday acknowledged the incident but declined to go into detail about any discipline Guida faced.

“The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an investigation into actions by the Bradley Beach Chief of Police, including an interaction with a sergeant occurring in November 2023, pursuant to the provisions of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Internal Affairs Policy and Procedures, and subsequently forwarded our findings to the Borough of Bradley Beach for its review,” the office said in an emailed statement.

“We fully expect that the actions we have taken, and the additional actions pending in Bradley Beach, will collectively remedy this issue.”

The prosecutor’s office referred additional questions to borough officials.

“I have received the report from the prosecutor’s office,” Bradley Beach Mayor Larry Fox said in an emailed statement. “As you know, this is a personnel matter and until it is completed, I can’t really comment in detail at this time; but I am confident we will have closure shortly.”

The public wasn’t told Guida had been placed on leave from his $202,500 a year job until a resident raised questions at a borough council meeting in December.

At the meeting, Fox declined to comment to the resident’s question, saying, “It’s a personnel matter that will not be discussed until it’s resolved.”

Now former borough attorney Greg Cannon then interjected, saying, “We can tell you the chief is on paid administrative leave and we will provide no further information on the matter.”

The citizen then questioned the mayor and council about why the public wasn’t informed.

Guida has been the police chief since 2007. He was hired as a public employee in 1983.

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