Jersey City police officer killed on the New Jersey Turnpike

A Jersey City police lieutenant who earned more than 40 meritorious service awards was killed after being struck by a car while assisting a driver on the New Jersey Turnpike, with whom he had a minor accident while on his way to work in an SUV.

Lt. Chris Robateau, a 23-year veteran of the Jersey City police department, was killed morning after assisting someone on the turnpike while on the way to work.

According to the union website, Robateau was the second vice president of the Jersey City Police Superior Officers Association, which represents sergeants, lieutenants and captains.

At a press conference attended by Police Chief Michael Kelly, representatives of the police union and members of the city council, Mayor Steven Fulop said, “This morning Jersey City lost a very terrific police officer. Lt. Robateau was traveling north on the New Jersey Turnpike when he was involved in a minor motor vehicle accident, which occurred near Exit 14 in Newark.”

“He got out of his vehicle to aid the driver of the other vehicle involved when he was struck with considerable force by another vehicle, a pickup truck, and perished at the scene,” said Fulop.

“Lt. Robateau’s instincts were always to help and save others, and that’s what he was doing when he was struck,” said Kelly. “We’re talking about a man who was one of the most decorated and most active police officers and supervisors that we had. We have over 900 police officers in Jersey City, he may have been one of our best.”

The press conference was streamed on Facebook and can be viewed below:

Also on Friday, the former chief of police for Jersey City admitted that he took around $31,000 from the city’s Housing Authority by claiming on timesheets he worked security shifts at housing sites when he actually did not, according to the Office of the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey.

Philip D. Zacche, 61, of Manalapan, pleaded guilty in federal court in Trenton to one count of embezzling, stealing, obtaining by fraud, misapplying and without authority knowingly converting money belonging to the Jersey City Housing Authority.

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