Voorhees officer accused of using database to befriend driver
Jeffrey M. Tyther, 44, has been charged with computer theft and violating the motor-vehicle-record law.
He was suspended without pay from the Voorhees Police Department over the weekend.
Authorities said Tyther was on duty in a marked police cruiser when the woman drove by in September. Tyther pulled up behind the woman, then pulled up next to her and waved, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
At no time did Tyther or the woman stop their vehicles or speak, authorities said.
“He attempted to ‘friend’ her within a few days of seeing her on the road,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. “When she didn’t respond to the friend request, Tyther emailed her, identifying himself as the officer who waved at her earlier that week.”
According to the prosecutor’s office, Tyther used the New Jersey State Police motor-vehicle database to identify the woman, then found her on Facebook.
The database is specifically limited to law enforcement purposes, meaning it can only be used to further a criminal investigation.
Tyther did not stop the motorist, issue her a ticket or witness any criminal behavior that would have warranted accessing her personal information through the database, authorities said.
Authorities learned of the alleged conduct after the woman told a co-worker about the incident and the co-worker contacted police.
Tyther, of the 100 block of Paradise Drive in Voorhees, turned himself in to state police on Monday and was released on a court summons.
According to multiple online wedding registries, Tyther is engaged to a Voorhees woman.
The couple is planning to wed in November, according to the registries.
Tyther was also named in an excessive-force case brought in September 2002 by Ian Strassler, a motorist who had been stopped by the officer.
The parties resolved the case three years later, after a federal judge ruled that Strassler could take his complaint to a jury. Details of the resolution were not available.