UPDATE: AG’s Office Releases Video and Radio Communications from Investigation of Fatal Moped Crash in Paterson, N.J., on September 20, 2023

For Immediate Release: January 22, 2024

Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Office of Public Integrity and Accountability
– Thomas J. Eicher, Executive Director

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Dan Prochilo

TRENTON — The Attorney General’s Office today released footage from several surveillance cameras and police radio communications relating to a death on September 20, 2023, following an attempted motor vehicle stop by members of the Totowa Police Department. The decedent was previously identified as David Lucero, 28, of Paterson.

This death during a law enforcement encounter is under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). The recordings are being released pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General’s Office in 2019 designed to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Investigators previously met with representatives of Mr. Lucero’s family to review the recordings.

According to the preliminary investigation, Totowa Patrol Officer Damiano DiIorio was in a marked patrol vehicle pursuing a motorized scooter, operated by Mr. Lucero, who had a single male passenger aboard. Other Totowa police vehicles began following Officer DiIorio’s vehicle during the pursuit. The route of travel began in Totowa on Union Boulevard, then continued to Totowa Road, and ultimately went into the City of Paterson on McBride Avenue. There, in the area of McBride and Murray Avenues, at approximately 7:19 p.m., the motorized scooter collided with a civilian vehicle. During the collision, Mr. Lucero and his passenger were ejected from the moped. The two men were transported to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, where Mr. Lucero was pronounced deceased at approximately 2:06 a.m. on September 21, 2023. The other civilians involved in the collision sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Today the Attorney General’s Office released various business and residential surveillance videos from the travel route, as well as police radio transmissions surrounding the incident.

The recordings are available here: https://njoag.box.com/s/kyqx7tkjifnq9nom5bcfr4xse9q8fqrx

A 2019 law, P.L. 2019, c. 1, requires the Attorney General’s Office to conduct investigations of deaths that occur during encounters with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. It requires that all such investigations be presented to a grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.

Further information about how fatal police encounters are investigated in New Jersey under the Independent Prosecutor Directive is posted on the Attorney General’s website at https://www.njoag.gov/independent-prosecutor


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