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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Sep 24, 2020

Former Long Branch Cop Gets Reduced Time in Fatal Pedestrian Accident

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On Sept. 22, 2017, former Long Branch police officer Jake Pascucci drove intoxicated and fatally struck 66-year-old Karen Borkowski who was crossing a Long Branch street at the time of the incident. Borkowski was pronounced dead at the scene.

In 2018, Pascucci pleaded guilty to strict liability vehicular homicide and DWI after the incident on Ocean Boulevard at the intersection of Broadway in Long Branch. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, but his lawyer appealed that decision. This trial is being handled out of Middlesex County to avoid a conflict of interest.

Pascucci’s lawyer proposed 240 days in county jail, Superior Court Judge Micheal Toto stated. An eye witness at the scene said they saw Borkowski sprint across the street when the light turned green. An accident reconstruction report also found that Borkowski’s actions were the main cause of the accident. Despite these reports, Toto said he does not excuse the fact that Pascucci was intoxicated during the accident.  Pascucci’s blood alcohol level was reported to be 0.08 when recorded at the hospital following the accident, according to the prosecutor.

Pascucci agreed that it was Borkowski who caused the accident. It was reported by NJ Advance Media that Pascucci was overheard telling his coworkers that he “had a green light and Borkowski was jaywalking.”

Pascucci was forced to turn in his badge to the Long Branch Police Department and lost his driving privileges.

“I always strive to do my work and always love being able to help people,” Pascucci said. “Now that I’m not a police officer, these traits have not left. I still always go above and beyond for anyone who needs it.”

In a letter read to the judge, Ed Borkowski, Karen Borkowski’s husband, stated, “Since my lady was killed, my health has gone downhill. She’s not here to help me and do the everyday tasks. She gave me incentive to live. I miss her. I need her. I find it near impossible to go on without her.”

Pascucci has been sentenced to eight months in the county jail, according to a Middlesex County press release. He is due to surrender to the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, Sept. 25.