A Rutgers University police officer is facing criminal charges after threatening his roommate with firearms, said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
William Tartis, 27, of Ocean Township, is charged with second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and fourth-degree aggravated assault in connection with multiple instances where he pulled a firearm on his roommate. This follows a joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Ocean Township Police Department.
The investigation revealed that on multiple occasions since the summer of 2020, Tartis pointed a shotgun and a handgun at his roommate in their residence in Ocean Township. Tartis would pretend to shoot his roommate with the barrel of a firearm pointed at him. At times, Tartis would point a firearm at his roommate and request rent money or instruct his roommate to turn down the volume on the TV. Tartis was also charged with domestic violence harassment regarding a second victim, a female who had recently engaged in a relationship with Tartis. Ten firearms were seized from Tartis’ residence Nov. 16, including his duty weapon.
Tartis began his employment with the Rutgers University Police Department Jan. 7 and is currently suspended without pay from his post at the university.
“William Tartis’ actions, as alleged, are horrendous and do not reflect upon the excellent work of the members of the Rutgers University Police Department. Upon notification, our internal affairs bureau fully cooperated with the investigating agencies and Mr. Tartis has been suspended without pay,” said Rutgers University Executive Director of Public Safety, Chief Kenneth Cop.
Tartis had his first appearance this week before the Superior Court Judge James M. Newman. His next court date is a pre-indictment conference scheduled for Dec. 24 before the Superior Court Judge Jill Grace O’Malley.
If anyone has any additional information, please contact Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Detective John Sosdian at 1-800-533-7443 or Ocean Township Police Department Detective Jesse Orbach at 732-531-1800.
Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous, but has information about a crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android – https://www.p3tips.com/1182), by calling 800-671-4400 or by going to the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com
If convicted of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Tartis faces a sentence of five to ten years in a New Jersey state prison. If convicted of aggravated assault, he faces up to 18 months in state prison. The domestic violence harassment charge is a petty disorderly persons offense.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibilities and Bias Crime Unit.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.