Prosecutors: Former Sea Bright police officer admits to stalking ex-girlfriend and damaging her car
A former police officer in Sea Bright admitted to a series of crimes against his ex-girlfriend, including stalking and threatening, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago.
Santiago says Erich Bennett, a 47-year-old resident of Sea Bright, disabled security cameras on the exterior of her house, slashed her tires, and keyed her car from October 2022 to January 2023. Bennett also drove by his ex-girlfriend’s house and threatened her with physical harm, both in person and via a fake social media account.
While on duty with the Sea Bright Police Department, Bennett conducted unauthorized searches in law enforcement databases of the victim and four of her associates, Santiago says.
Bennett pleaded guilty to computer theft, criminal mischief, hindering apprehension and stalking. He was arrested in late January and remains incarcerated at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending future court proceedings. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 3. The state is looking to recommend a sentence of five years in state prison.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Bennett would also have to submit to surrender of his privately owned firearms, a permanent restraining order barring him from contact with the victim, and restitution in the amount of nearly $4,800, according to Santiago.
Due to Bennett’s plea, he has forfeited the right to hold any public office in New Jersey.