Videos and police reports show Ravitz potentially obstructing a law enforcement official and impersonating a police officer during encounters with local police and Voorhees residents
Camden County Republican Chairman Richard Ambrosino, Jr., today called on the County Prosecutor to review recently released video of two separate encounters involving Voorhees Deputy Mayor Jason Ravitz during which Voorhees police had to be dispatched.
In one incident Ravitz appears to violate Section 2C:30-2 of the New Jersey Criminal Code outlining acts that constitute “Official Misconduct”. Cases of misconduct by an elected official can include acts with the purpose to obtain a benefit for him or herself.
During the first incident, at Ott’s Tavern in August of 2017, Ravitz had to be forcibly removed after becoming threatening to other patrons and aggressive with restaurant employees. In police body camera video during that incident, Ravitz is heard asking an officer to turn off his body camera – a violation of New Jersey law -- and heard making potentially intimidating remarks to the officer, including “I’m the guy who promoted you” and “I gave you a raise”.
During the second incident, at a Voorhees Applebees in January of 2018, Ravitz again became threatening to other patrons and, according to testimony provided by one of the patrons Ravitz threatened, said during the encounter “…I’m a police officer and I’m in charge of the police“ and then stated “…I’m the Mayor of this town”, both of which are untrue.
These statements by Ravitz appear to be a violation of Section 2C:28-8 of the New Jersey Criminal Code outlining violations for Impersonating a Public Servant or Law Enforcement Officer. Ravitz also made a veiled request in the January incident to encourage the officer to turn off his body camera.
“Within the space of five months, Voorhees police were twice required to respond to incidents of threatening and violent behavior by Voorhees Deputy Mayor Jason Ravitz,” Ambrosino said. “Both incidents seem to involve the consumption of alcohol by a public official who seems to think he can use his position of authority in the township in attempts to persuade or intimidate responding police officers to look the other way.
“Additionally, Ravitz probably should have been arrested for DUI at the time of the incident at Applebees. He appeared intoxicated, was behind the wheel of a running vehicle and expressed his intent to leave. There was evidence of operation and he clearly expressed an intent to operate, potentially putting the lives of numerous people at risk. These actions can sometimes lead to a charge of DUI even though the vehicle was not in motion.
“As Deputy Mayor, Mr. Ravitz knows the law,” Ambrosino continued, “which is all the more reason why the Prosecutor’s Office should examine the video and determine if Ravitz’s conduct is in violation of New Jersey’s Code of Criminal Conduct.”