A Trenton police officer was on the receiving end of pressure from Capt. Paul “Sleepy” Messina early Sat. morning after the officer doled out some parking tickets to illegally parked vehicles around the city’s downtown Marriott Hotel, the Times’ Kevin Shea reported Wednesday.
The officer said Capt. Messina told him to perform what amounts to illegal selective enforcement and void the tickets, and that Capt. Messina smelled of booze during the verbal confrontation.
Now Police Director Santiago says the officer has a history of being overzealous with parking tickets, and that there was no way Messina was intoxicated as he had been in the director’s presence that night.
He questioned the officer’s enforcement of parking laws during the downtown events that occurred this past weekend.
“Do we really want to give parking tickets to people who come to events downtown,” said Mr. Santiago in Wednesday’s Times.
Capt. Messina is the same police captain known for verbally abusing police officers, sleeping on duty numerous times, and generally flouting some police rules while obsessively enforcing others against enemies of the TPD status quo.
Despite Mr. Santiago’s denial of the captain’s alleged drinking, it is well known that police officers – even rookies – are trained to detect the presence of alcohol as their job requires police to look for potentially dangerous intoxicated citizens.
Along with the fact that this officer happens to be an 18-year veteran and that officers are trained to immediately recognize the presence of alcohol, it seems almost certain that Capt. Messina had been drinking and could have been intoxicated that night.
In addition to this, Capt. Messina and Mr. Santiago are frequently seen at area bars downing drinks.