Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced Wednesday that a Nassau County Police officer has been arrested after he allegedly used his authority to coerce a woman into touching him inappropriately during a traffic stop in East Meadow.
Rice said that on Feb. 27, 2011, Garrett Mannerz, a police officer from the Third Precinct, stopped a vehicle that was travelling in the vicinity of Hempstead Turnpike and Newbridge Road. Inside the car were three women in their early 20s.
According to Rice, after performing field sobriety tests on the driver, Mannerz, 34, ordered one of the passengers out of the car, commented on her attire and asked for her telephone number. He then allegedly instructed the woman to walk over to his patrol car where he told her that if she “did something for him,” then he would allow the driver to leave the location without receiving a summons or being charged criminally.
Rice said that Mannerz then allegedly grabbed the woman’s wrist and made her touch him sexually. He also allegedly arranged to call her to set up a “date.”
According to Rice, Mannerz let the three women drive away. Within two hours, Mannerz allegedly began a series of sexually suggestive telephone calls to the passenger he had grabbed. He was arrested after the victim recorded one of the phone calls and presented it to police.
Mannerz was arrested this morning by the Nassau County Police Department Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) and charged with Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree, Official Misconduct, Coercion in the Second Degree, and Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree. Mannerz faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. He is due back in court June 29.
Mannerz has been Nassau County Police Officer since November 2005. His assignment with the precinct put him the position of being able to pull over motorists constantly. Anyone with a similar experience is encouraged to contact the DA’s Public Corruption Bureau at 571-2100.
“This is a shocking case of a policeman abusing his power,” Rice said. “This defendant was supposed to serve and protect the people, but chose instead to disgrace himself and the honest, hard-working members of the Nassau County Police Department with his abhorrent behavior.”
The District Attorney's Office did not provide any information on the victims.
This charge is only an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
(Editor's Note: The initial press release stated the alleged incident occurred in Levittown. This story has been updated to reflect the correct town.)