PLUMSTED — A Mercer County sheriff's officer previously accused of beating and hurling slurs at a man while off-duty has now landed himself in Ocean County jail on another assault charge, according to his boss.

Matthew Sickler, 35, was arrested after a "domestic violence situation" in New Egypt early Friday morning, the Mercer County Sheriff's Office said. Records show he is being held at Ocean County jail as of Tuesday morning.

Sickler is charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, eluding and resisting arrest, and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, the MCSO said in a statement.

"The Mercer County Sheriff's Office prides itself on holding its officers to a high standard," Sheriff Jack Kemler said. "As Sheriff, I have no tolerance for such incredibly bad and dangerous behavior by an officer. Stickler has violated the special trust and confidence in his role as a law enforcement officer."

Matthew Sickler speaks to police in Aug. 2022. (Ocean County jail/Bordentown Township police)
Matthew Sickler speaks to police in Aug. 2022. (Ocean County jail/Bordentown Township police)

Sickler, who was previously placed on desk duty following an incident in August, has now been suspended without pay. The sheriff's office said that potential administrative action would take place after any court proceedings.

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Court documents showed that Sickler pointed a gun at a woman, threatened to kill her, and threatened to harm himself, according to a report from Townsquare Media has filed a records request with the Plumsted police.

The department on social media alerted residents to a "large police response" in New Egypt early Friday morning but did not elaborate on the situation. Chief Earl Meroney did not respond to a request Tuesday for confirmation that it was the same incident.

Mercer County sheriff's officer's Bordentown hotel beating

Sickler's arrest on Friday marked the second time he has been charged with assault in less than a year.

A 61-year-old man pressed charges against Sickler including simple assault for a beating he endured at the Bordentown Best Western on August 20, 2022. Sickler was also charged with obstruction for providing a fake name for his then-girlfriend Tara Dzurkoc, police body camera footage obtained by New Jersey 101.5 showed.

Head and facial injuries Lopez suffered in an assault at the Bordentown Best Western on 8/20/2022. (Chris Lopez)
Head and facial injuries Lopez suffered at the Bordentown Best Western on 8/20/2022. (Chris Lopez)

Christopher Lopez told New Jersey 101.5 that Sickler repeatedly used anti-Semitic slurs before the officer began attacking him. Sickler also pressed charges against Lopez, including simple assault. One cop at the scene told Lopez that he could be charged because he hit Sickler back in self-defense.

Lopez said in an update on Monday that a pre-trial hearing will be held in April and the trial is currently set for some time in May.

  • Anyone in crisis and in need of immediate help can text or dial 988 or call the New Jersey Suicide Prevention Hopeline at 1-855-654-6735. There also is a chat option on the website.

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