A city police officer was arrested on Tuesday morning in connection with a drunk driving crash that occurred on Straight Street in mid-December, according to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
Christopher Astacio, 22, of Paterson, has been charged with assault by auto and driving while intoxicated, authorities said.
Astacio crashed his 2011 Acura TL into the train trestle on Straight and Fulton streets at around 3:35 a.m. on December 16, 2017.
Police found his vehicle on the roadway. Astacio and his two passengers were seriously injured in the crash.
Astacio and one passengers were found injured outside of the vehicle, authorities said. A third occupant was initially unresponsive and trapped inside the crashed vehicle.
Authorities said the police officer was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center for treatment. He was released seven days later, authorities said.
Astacio was allegedly operating his vehicle recklessly with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit at the time of the crash, authorities found following an investigation.
Authorities said the police officer was processed and released on a summons complaint.
Astacio was hired as a police officer in January 2017. He was off-duty at the time of the crash.
Police director Jerry Speziale on Wednesday morning said the city is drawing up disciplinary charges against the officer. Police will place him on unpaid suspension seeking his termination pending the outcome of the case.
This report was updated at 8:35 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2018.