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Prosecutor: South Jersey Police Officer Illegally Pepper-Sprayed Suspects

Captured on a police officer's body cam, a suspect is seen hunching over after being hit with pepper spray. Photo Credit: Camden County Prosecutor's Office
An example of pepper spray from a law enforcement training course. Photo Credit: Provided

A Camden County police officer has been forced to quit his public job after illegally using pepper spray on two suspects, authorities said.

The former Woodlynne police officer pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge stemming from a June use-of-force incident, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer.

Ryan Dubiel, 32, of Wenonah in Gloucester County, admitted to one count of simple assault against two victims, Mayer said.

As part of the plea, Dubiel was sentenced to one year of probation, is prohibited from having contact with the victims and must abide by any additional terms deemed appropriate by probation, Mayer said.

Dubiel also agreed to forfeit his patrol job at the Woodlynne Police Department and is now prohibited from holding any public office within the State of New Jersey, including employment as a police officer, the prosecutor said on Friday.

On June 4, officers were dispatched to a Woodlynne home for a complaint. Once there, Dubiel used Oleoresin Capsicum spray, more commonly known as "OC spray," on two individuals that was not consistent with the state of New Jersey use-of-force policy, according to Mayer.

After carefully and impartially reviewing evidence that included body camera footage of the incident, Dubiel originally was charged on June 10 with two counts of simple assault, Mayer said, 

The video shows two police officers questioning three young suspects. The second officer eventually sprays OC at two of them.

“With this resolution, there is a guarantee to the public that this individual will not serve in any position of public trust in Camden County or anywhere else in the state,” Mayer said. “We hope this serves as a reminder that no one is above the law and we take all accusations and abuse of power seriously.”

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