Police & Fire

It's A Girl! Widow of Fallen Somerville Police Officer Gives Birth to Anastasia Catherine

Victoria Tarentino and baby daughter Anastasia Catherine surrounded by Summit police officers, family and friends. Credits: Courtesy Summit Police
Detective Matthew Tarentino Credits: Courtesy Summit Police

SOMERVILLE, NJ — Victoria Tarentino, the widow of Summit police officer Matthew Tarentino, has given birth to a baby girl.

Anastasia Catherine was born to the Somerville couple at Overlook Medical Center on August 3, according to the Summit Police Department.

Detective Tarentino was killed in a three-car accident on Route 78 in the early morning hours of May 30. Tarentino, the department’s community relations and DARE officer, was on his way to a school to give a presentation on drug awareness and substance abuse when the accident occurred. He was promoted to detective posthumously.

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"Mom and baby are doing great!” Summit Police reported on Facebook. "Proud big brothers Robbie and Ray are eager for their little sister to start playing with them!"

Both brothers are of pre-school age. Dressed in matching suits and bow ties, the boys stood hand-in-hand with their pregnant mother at funeral services for their father at Immaculata R.C. Church just days after the accident.

Hundreds of police officers and first responders from throughout New Jersey turned out for the memorial services and mass over a two-day period. Led by 80 police motorcycles, a procession numbering hundreds of police and emergency vehicles drove through Somerville to Resurrection Cemetery in Piscataway for graveside services.

The couple grew up together in Somerville and were high school sweethearts, attending Immaculata High School. He graduated Rutgers University, and was a police officer in South Bound Brook and Rutgers University prior to his service with the Summit Police Department. Victoria has been working at Immaculata as itsmarketing officer.

A few businesses in Somerville have sponsored fundraising campaigns for the family; an online fund raising effort has exceeded $600,000.

The Summit Police Department will sponsor a Memorial 5K in downtown Summit on September 9 to raise money for the family. Tarentino was a devoted fitness enthusiast and runner. Those in Somerville who did not know him personally knew of him because they saw him on his daily runs throughout the borough.

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