What to Know
- A New Jersey judge told state troopers "I’m a f---ing judge" during a drunk-driving arrest in 2016, according to a complaint
- Wilfredo Benitez serves as a municipal court judge in Belleville, East Orange and Bloomfield, according to NorthJersey.com
- Benitez also allegedly threatened to fight the troopers
A New Jersey judge told state troopers "I’m a f---ing judge" and threatened to fight them during a drunk-driving arrest in 2016, according to a complaint filed with a state judicial conduct board.
Wilfredo Benitez -- who according to NorthJersey.com serves as a municipal court judge in Belleville, East Orange and Bloomfield -- also asked the troopers "you’re not going to give me any courtesy?" as they locked him in handcuffs during the stop on Interstate 80 in Teaneck on Nov. 12, 2016, according to a complaint released to the public Thursday by the state Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct.
According to the complaint, two troopers spotted Benitez’s car parked on the right shoulder of the interstate and saw the judge asleep in the front seat. When they woke him up, they got a whiff of alcohol and noticed his eyes were bloodshot. But Benitez told the officers he hadn’t been drinking or taking any drugs before the stop.
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While officers were conducting a field sobriety test, Benitez allegedly asked "What are you trying to do? I mean, (indiscernible) University, I’m a judge."
According to the complaint, the troopers cuffed him on DWI charges and told Benitez he was under arrest.
"I can’t believe you’re doing this. I'm not a f---ing drug addict. I’m not a drunk! I can’t believe you’re doing this," Benitez replied, according to the complaint.
As the officers locked the handcuffs, the judge then allegedly said "I’m a f---ing judge."
Later on, the officer said "I'm going to read you the Miranda warning. I’m sure you know it."
That's when, according to the complaint, Benitez yelled "You’re wasting your time and you know it. I’ll fight you. You know you’re being a d---. I will f---ing fight you."
Benitez was ultimately found not guilty of a DWI charge in May, but is still under investigation by the judicial conduct board for allegedly requesting preferential treatment during the stop. According to the complaint, Benitez also told the committee he took "umbrage at being treated like a common criminal."
NBC 4 New York has reached out to Benitez's private law practice seeking comment.