Police & Fire

Clark Mayor on Police Brutality Claim: ‘These People Are Looking for a Payday'

WABC Eyewitness News reporter Carolina Leid broke the story about a grandmother who landed in the hospital following a traffic incident with her son, who apparently blew through a red light. Watch the clip on WABC-7Online: http://7online.com/news/family-claims-police-brutality-after-woman-critically-hurt-at-nj-traffic-stop/896811/. Clark's Mayor Sal Bonaccorso says "no one is going to disparage the Clark Police Department" and is confident that his department will be vindicated. Credits: WABC Eyewitness News
Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso (file) Credits: Susan Roselli Bonnell

CLARK, NJ – Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso responded to claims, now widely publicized by media outlets, that a Clark police officer slammed a 61-year-old woman to the ground during a traffic stop on Friday.

Antoniette Dilorio, whose son and grandson were in the vehicle at the time, was hospitalized. Her son was the driver. (Grandmother Hospitalized After Incident with Clark Cop; Prosecutor’s Office Investigating

“These people are looking for a payday. There will be no payday,” Mayor Bonaccorso told TAP into Clark. He said, “I know this officer very well. He was doing his job. The Clark Police Department was doing its job. This department will be vindicated.”

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“This country is moving in a very negative direction,” Bonaccorso said. “But this town is not going to be labeled. This department is not going to be labeled. This officer is not going to be labeled.”

On Friday at about noon, a Clark officer pulled over Fortunato Riga just off Madison Hill Road in Rahway, according to reports.  In an interview on Channel 7 Eyewitness News, he said his mother, Dilorio, was trying to stick up for him "because she knew there was no reason I should have been pulled over.” Riga’s fiancée, Crystal Palmieri, said that the officer grabbed Dilorio by the arm and “slammed her to the ground.”

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating.

“We would never tolerate an officer doing anything like that,” Bonaccorso said.  “The prosecutor will clear this officer, will clear this department.”

Bonaccorso welcomed the involvement of the prosecutor’s office.

“I am happy that the Union County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating so there is no air of impropriety. This takes it out of the Clark Police Department,” he said. “I encourage them to investigate to the fullest. I know they will be fair and impartial. I predict in the end this officer and the Clark Police Department will be vindicated. As the chief executive of this town, no one is going to disparage the Clark Police Department.”

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