A judge acquitted Justin Cherry, 36, a Tuckerton police corporal, of official misconduct. Superior Court Judge Rochelle Gizinski said the state did not prove that Cherry, on the night of Jan. 29, 2014, knowingly committed an unauthorized act with the intent to injure Wendy Tucker, a Barnegat woman who was driving without a license, when he released his K-9 partner, Gunner, on the motorist.
Gizinski said it was clear from watching a police dash-camera video of the incident that Tucker, then 57, was resisting arrest. The judge said two Barnegat police officers who were trying to take Tucker into custody did not have her under their control when Cherry came on the scene and released his dog on her. That is contrary to the state’s allegation that Cherry deployed the dog on Tucker after she was in custody.