EAST MEADOW - A five-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department turned himself in this morning after authorities say he forced a young woman to sexually touch him during a routine traffic stop.
Officials say Garrett Mannerz, 34, was arrested this morning by the Internal Affairs Unit of the Nassau County Police Department and charged with bribe receiving, official misconduct, coercion and sexual abuse.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice says the incident happened Feb. 27 when Mannerz stopped a vehicle near the intersection of Newbridge Road and Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow. Inside the car were three women in their early 20s.
Officials say Mannerz gave the driver a field sobriety test and then asked one of the passengers to come to his patrol car. He then allegedly told the woman if she "did something for him," he would let her friend go.
Authorities say Mannerz then grabbed the woman's wrist and made her grope him before getting her phone number. According to Rice, the woman taped one of several sexually suggestive phone calls Mannerz allegedly made within two hours of the incident.
Mannerz's attorney, William Petrillo, says his client is a well-respected officer and a family man. He is questioning why it took almost four months for charges to be filed.
Mannerz was released on his own recognizance after pleading not guilty to all of the charges. He has been suspended from the police department.
If convicted, Mannerz faces up to seven years in prison. He is due back in court June 29.