A Roxbury New Jersey teen wrongly incarcerated on charges of armed robbery at a local smoke shop is planning to file a civil lawsuit against the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and other law enforcement agencies.
The plaintiff is a 16-year-old boy from Roxbury, NJ. He was placed under arrest in November 2015 after being accused of committing the armed robbery of Serenity Smoke Shop, a business located in Roxbury. Someone walked into the store and brandished a firearm while stealing an expensive bong and a cigarette lighter. The person who committed the armed holdup then ran out of the building and got into a getaway car before fleeing the area.
Roxbury law enforcement initially believed that the 16-year-old plaintiff was the armed robber. The plaintiff, who lived next door to the smoke shop, was placed under arrest a few days after the robbery. He faces multiple criminal charges for a host of offenses, including armed robbery, illegal possession of a handgun, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and terroristic threats.
For the next month, the plaintiff was incarcerated in a Morris County juvenile detention center. After that, he was placed under house arrest and prevented from attending school for several months. In May 2016, Morris County prosecutors finally dismissed the criminal charges against the suspect.
Now the teenager is filing a civil lawsuit against multiple defendants, including the Roxbury Police Department, the Township of Roxbury, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Morris County, and the State of New Jersey. The plaintiff has also named individual Roxbury NJ detectives and Morris County NJ prosecutors as defendants in the civil case.
The plaintiff claims that law enforcement agencies in Roxbury and Morris County “ignored clearly exculpatory evidence” and negligently prolonged his detention and house arrest.
The plaintiff hired a private investigator to look into the theft crime. The investigator reportedly learned that the plaintiff was not responsible for the smoke shop robbery. Moreover, the investigator reportedly found the getaway driver in the robbery, with the driver identifying the actual culprit.
For further information about this case, read the NJ.com article, “Teen Wrongfully Charged with $1,200 Bong Heist Plans to Sue Cops, Prosecutor.”