A Rutgers University police officer is facing criminal charges after allegedly threatening his roommate with firearms, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said on Monday.
William Tartis, 27, of Ocean Township, is charged with second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and fourth-degree aggravated assault in connection with multiple instances in which he allegedly pulled a firearm on his roommate.
The charges came after a joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ocean Township Police Department.
The investigation revealed that on multiple occasions since the summer of 2020, Tartis pointed a shotgun and a handgun at his roommate in their residence in Ocean Township.
Tartis, the investigation revealed, would pretend to shoot his roommate with the barrel of a firearm pointed at him. At times, Tartis would point a firearm at his roommate and request rent money or instruct his roommate to turn down the volume on the television.
Tartis was also charged with domestic violence harassment regarding a second victim, a female that had recently engaged in a relationship with Tartis. Ten firearms were seized from Tartis’ residence last night, including his duty weapon.
Tartis began his employment with the Rutgers University Police Department on Jan. 7, 2020, and is currently suspended without pay from his post at the university.
“William Tartis’ actions, as alleged, are horrendous and do not reflect upon the excellent work of the members of the Rutgers University Police Department. Upon notification, our internal affairs bureau fully cooperated with the investigating agencies and Mr. Tartis has been suspended without pay.”Chief Kenneth Cop, Rutgers University executive director of Public Safety
Tartis had his first appearance today before the Honorable James M. Newman. His next court date is a pre-indictment conference scheduled for Dec. 24 before the Honorable Jill Grace O’Malley.
If convicted of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Tartis faces a sentence of five to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison. If convicted of aggravated assault, he faces up to 18 months in state prison. The domestic violence harassment charge is a petty disorderly persons offense.
If anyone has any additional information, please contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective John Sosdian at 1-800-533-7443 or Ocean Township Police Department Detective Jesse Orbach at 732-531-1800.
Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous, but has information about a crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android – https://www.p3tips.com/1182), by calling 800-671-4400 or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com
— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office