Police & Fire

Trooper Involved in July Shooting in Sparta Remains on Duty


SPARTA, NJ – State Trooper Kissenger Barreau remains on duty, according to Captain Steve Jones from the Office of Public Affairs of the State Police.  After checking with Human Resource department Cpt Jones did confirm that the State Police officer’s status had not changed. While off-duty Barreau had fired his gun at three unarmed teens who mistakenly knocked on his door and rang is doorbell in the early morning hours of July 26.

While no one was injured in the incident, the car became disabled a short distance away.  After calling his mother, the driver, John Baker, called the police to report the shooting and ask for help with his disabled car, according to 911 recordings obtained by TAP into Sparta.  The boys were taken into custody by Sparta Police before being taken to the Netcong Trooper barracks by state police officers. 

To date no charges have been filed against the boys. 

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In response to an inquiry with the Office of the Attorney General, charged with handling any State Police shooting incident, spokesman Peter Aseltine said, “The investigation is ongoing. We have nothing new to report.”

When asked to comment on rumored grand jury proceedings Aseltine said, “I can’t answer your grand jury question. Grand jury proceedings are confidential, so we would not disclose whether we have plans regarding a grand jury presentation.”

Sparta Police Lt Beebe said, “The incident is under investigation by the State Division of Criminal Justice and the New Jersey State Police.  They are the lead investigative agencies in this matter.  The Sparta Police Department as always, is available to assist if requested.  Except for this department’s initial response to the incident in question that evening, the Sparta Police Department has had no further involvement.” 

Inquiries with the New Jersey's Governor and Lt Governon on the topic garnered similar responses.

Brian T Murray of Governor Christie's office responded, "If there is any information that can be made public, that [the Attorney General] would be the agency to make that determination and provide such information."

Inquiry made with Lt Governor Kim Guadagno also yeilded, "Any questions about on going investigations go to the AG or state police."

According to a source close to the families of the three boys, Baker, Jesse Barkorn and Matthew Mayer “They are happy to be back at school and work after a stressful summer, having been fearful to leave their homes and go out.”  

Under New Jersey Tort Claims Act, known as Title 59, Claims Against Public Entities, fewer than 30 days remain for the boys to file Notice of Tort Claim, should that be their intent.  The notice is simply a form, with basic information relevant to the incident that must be filed within 90 days of the incident.  This is not the same as filing a lawsuit. Title 59 filing tells the state the filer intends to file a suit against the state agency and state employees. Title 59 filing alerts the public entity, allows for an investigation and offer a possible settlement, prior to filing a lawsuit.  Title 59 requires a six month waiting period from the filing of the claim to the time they can file a lawsuit against the public entity. 




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