The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (AP) -- A police officer was accused of staging his
own shooting after a security video showed no one else around at the
time of the alleged assault.
Authorities said Officer Christopher LaFragola fired two shots into
his bulletproof vest July 14, then radioed to headquarters that he
had been shot, touching off a frantic hunt for a car carrying two
suspects that didn't exist.
LaFragola, an 18-year veteran of the force in this Newark suburb, was
charged with misconduct and could face seven years in prison.
He said he was ambushed by two people as he was checking out their
car. Videotape from the surveillance camera at a nearby office
building showed LaFragola's car -- and no one else -- in the area.
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The recently divorced officer is being treated at a psychiatric
facility, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said. He remains
there and has not yet hired an attorney, Romankow said.