‘False arrest,’ claims attorney for Public Integrity cop arrested at NJ bar
NORTH WILDWOOD — The attorney for a detective accused of trying to force herself back into a bar during this year's Irish Fall Festival says his client is the "victim of a false arrest."
Det. Sgt. Danielle Oliveira, 32, was arrested on Sept. 24 outside of Keenan's Irish Pub and charged with defiant trespass. Police body camera footage published by BreakingAC shows North Wildwood cops saying that she had been "thrown out" and "kept causing a scene."
Oliveira works for the Attorney General's Office of Public Integrity and Accountability. The OPIA website states it has the mission of investigating "violations of public trust," including police-involved shootings.
Oliveira's attorney Timothy Smith, of Caruso Smith Picini, told New Jersey 101.5 that his client is now a victim of the police. In a statement, Smith said that Oliveira "will be owed an apology" for the injustice.
“Ms. Oliveira is the victim of a false arrest stemming from a legally defective charging document. Irrefutable video footage confirms this," Smith said. "There thus exists an obligation on the part of the prosecutorial authority assigned to screen this case to ensure its swift and summary dismissal in the interests of justice."
A spokesperson for the AGO told New Jersey 101.5 in a statement that the office is "aware of the incident and the matter is under review."
"In an abundance of caution and to avoid the appearance of a potential conflict, we have asked that the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office conduct an independent review of the incident," the spokesman said.
A police report obtained by New Jersey 101.5 states that shortly before 11 p.m., North Wildwood patrol cop Mitchell Calloway was walking by the bar when he noticed Oliveira trying to enter at the exit. Staff were preventing her from going back inside and told the cop that she was not allowed back in.
After being told by the cop and staff multiple times that she had to go, Oliveira "reluctantly" left, according to the report.
"Approximately 10 minutes later, Mrs. Oliveira returned and attempted to reenter Keenan's property through the exit," Calloway wrote. "I then approached and told Mrs. Oliveira that she was under arrest and placed her in handcuffs."
Police-involved shooting in North Jersey?
In the police body camera footage, a friend explained that Oliveira had left the bar to take a phone call. Lt. Cortney Lawrence expressed confusion about why Oliveira was banned from the bar and arrested.
"I had no idea anything was happening," Lawrence said.
Lawrence told Lt. Adam McGraw that the phone call was related to a police-involved shooting in North Jersey, according to McGraw's report. However, the shooting was apparently non-fatal so Oliveira did not have to respond, Lawrence said.
READ MORE: Public Integrity detective arrested at North Wildwood, NJ bar
When they tried to go back in, they were denied by staff, leading to the encounter with police. Lawrence later signed Oliveira out of police custody.
The AGO did not respond to a request for confirmation that there had been a police-involved shooting that evening.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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