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Video: N.J. police chief retires amid investigation into fight with own officer at crash scene

Bradley Beach police Chief Leonard Guida can be seen on body camera video grabbing an officer’s jacket as the officer worked a crash scene, leading to a brief physical altercation

By Jeff Goldman

BRADLEY BEACH, N.J. — The Jersey Shore police chief who has been on administrative leave following a verbal and physical confrontation with an on-duty sergeant during a drunk driving investigation last year will retire this week, the town’s mayor said Monday morning.

Bradley Beach police Chief Leonard Guida’s retirement will be effective on Friday, Mayor Larry Fox said in a statement. Guida had previously planned to retire on Sept. 1, according to Fox. Guida’s salary is $202,500, meaning he’ll lose about half a year’s pay with the earlier retirement.

“As many of you know, there has been an ongoing investigation conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office,” Fox wrote. “Their report is complete, and actions have been taken based upon the recommendations from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. I appreciate the concerns raised by many of you and I take them very seriously.”

Guida sent a text to NJ Advance Media saying he had no comment after a message was left on his cell phone.

Multiple police body-worn cameras recorded the incident on Nov. 9 between Guida and Sgt. William Major on Main Street in Bradley Beach. News of chief’s suspension was first reported by, which obtained the body worn camera footage following an Open Public Records Act request.

In the videos, Major is seen investigating a crash involving a suspected drunken driver.

Guida, who was off-duty, approached Major as the sergeant investigated the crash, according to the video. The chief commented about the condition of Major’s jacket, then grabbed the sergeant, the video shows. That started a brief physical altercation between the two in which Major pushed the chief onto the hood of a police car.

The two then started verbally sparring. They traded comments, including the chief telling the sergeant he was “relieved” and to meet him at the police station. “That’s an order,” the chief said.

Toward then end of the video Guida said, “You know I love you,” to Major.

The public wasn’t told Guida had been placed on leave from his $202,500 a year job until a resident raised questions at a borough council meeting in December.

“I’d like to thank Chief Guida for his 40+ years of service to our borough,” Fox said in the statement. “Under his leadership, our community has become a much safer place to live.”

Guida has been the chief since 2007. He has been a public employee in New Jersey since 1983.

Capt. James Arnold will serve as acting chief until a replacement is hired.


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