NEW BRUNSWICK – A Middlesex County sheriff’s officer has been found guilty of a charge stemming from a 2015 road rage incident in which he smashed the windshield of a vehicle.
Neil Raciti, 49, of Milltown, was found guilty of criminal mischief, a disorderly person’s offense, on Thursday by Superior Court Judge Benjamin Bucca, the prosecutor’s office said. He faces up to 180 days in the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center when he is sentenced in December.
Raciti, who had been a sheriff’s officer for 14 years at the time, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his wife on March 29, 2015, traveling from East Brunswick to South Brunswick, prosecutors said.
During the trip, four teenagers in a car behind the couple tailed close behind the car his wife was driving and Raciti, who was off-duty, got out at a light, approached the car, shouted profanities and smashed the vehicle’s windshield with his hands, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Amber Gibbs said.
After a five-day bench trial, where the judge decided the verdict, Bucca acquitted Raciti of one count of falsely incriminating another and four counts of unsworn falsification to law enforcement.
Raciti, who served as Milltown’s borough council president at the time, was suspended from the sheriff’s office after he was charged with aggravated assault in September 2015. He has not been allowed to return to duty.
In that case, authorities said Raciti pushed a victim, fracturing the person’s elbow and injuring his or her lower back. The victim, whose name was not released, had visible abrasions, court records show.
The alleged attack did not involve Raciti’s job and he was off duty at the time, prosecutors said.
Days later, Raciti was arrested on charges he illegally possessed an AR-15 assault rifle and nine loaded high-capacity magazines, authorities said.
It was not immediately clear how his previous cases ended.