BELLEVILLE, NJ — A NJ Board of Education Trustee will have to answer to multiple charges including Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and DWI within 1,000 ft. of a school after being found asleep in her vehicle just after midnight on Oct. 21, 2020.
According to the Belleville Police Department Incident Report, police were dispatched to the street in front of Michael's Roscommon House after a report of a female slumped over the wheel of a parked, running vehicle. It was found across the street from Belleville School No. 7. The school is an elementary school.
Erika Jacho, who has served on the Belleville Board of Education since 2017, was asked to perform tasks to determine if she was under the influence of alcohol. Once suspected she was under the influence, she was handcuffed, and escorted to a police vehicle to be driven to police headquarters. According to the incident report, Jacho initially pushed back against the officers and refused to get into the police vehicle.
While en route to Belleville Police Headquarters, Jacho became disruptive, stating "this is a disgrace," and "this is sad."
Jacho can also be heard asking for "Vinny," it is believed she meant Vinny Cozzarelli, an elected official in the township. She also asked for the mayor.
Jacho then began to make statements against the police, claiming they only had jobs because they know someone, the officers are below her, she pays their salaries, and that she is not afraid of the Chief. Many of her statements can be heard on the audio portion of the attached video clip.
A word of caution to parents who may listen in the presence of children: Jacho's statement includes strong language, awkward grammar, and poor spelling.
Meanwhile, back on Joralemon St., as officers waiting for a towing vehicle for Jacho's Mercury, another officer entered the Roscommon House. The bartender on duty stated that she was not a patron of the establishment that evening.
Jacho was charged with: DWI, DWI within 1,000 ft of a school, refusal to submit to chemical test, failure to exhibit drivers license, reckless driving, and parked within 10 ft. of a hydrant. She ws released from police custody at about 6:30 a.m. Oct. 21
Jacho is a current Board of Education trustee in the Township of Belleville. Her current term is coming to an end. She is on the ballot for Nov. 3, election.
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