Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that the State Grand Jury returned a four-count indictment charging an Essex County Sheriff’s Officer with official misconduct, criminal restraint, criminal coercion and terroristic threats.
During the late night hours of Oct. 5, 2012 and the early morning hours of Oct. 6, 2012, John P. Warnock, 39, currently of Newark, allegedly presented himself as a sheriff’s officer and offered assistance to a woman leaving a West Orange night club.
It is alleged that the then off-duty officer put the victim in his personal vehicle but instead of taking her home he threatened her and refused to let her out of the vehicle. Eventually, the victim jumped from the moving vehicle in Nutley, screaming for help.
Warnock, who has been with the Sheriff’s Department for seven years, is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 26 in Hudson County before the Honorable Mitzy Galis-Menendez, J.S.C. The case has been moved to Hudson County because of Warnock’s employment in Essex County.
Warnock is currently suspended without pay from his job with the Essex County Sheriff’s Department. Warnock joined the Sheriff’s Department in March of 2006. Prior to coming to the Sheriff’s Department he had worked as a state corrections officer, an Essex County corrections officer and Essex County detention officer.
These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they pled guilty or are found guilty in a court of law.