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Ousted Perth Amboy Police Chief Indicted For Second Time in Two Years

Ally of Mayor Wilda Diaz Indicted on Charges of Stalking and Impersonating Police
Benjamin Ruiz
Benjamin Ruiz preparing to enter the courtroom at his September 2016 trial. Charlie Kratovil

PERTH AMBOY, NJ—Former Chief of Police of Perth Amboy, Benjamin Ruiz, was indicted by a grand jury on Friday, June 2, on counts of stalking and impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer.

The charges stem from a period of time in 2016, while the Chief was suspended over allegations that he used police resources to repair a personal vehicle, among other charges.

They say that their investigation determined Ruiz was hiding outside a Smith Street convenience store to watch an unidentified neighbor.

According to prosectuors, Ruiz was confronted multiple times by employees at the 7-11 between February 1, 2016 and May 18, 2016, in which Ruiz told them he was a police officer.

But he was actually several months into a well-publicized suspension at the time.

Ruiz had been suspended without pay since December 2014, after being arrested on charges of official misconduct, theft of services, and witness tampering.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, which failed to secure a conviction against Ruiz on those charges, will now get a second chance to prosecute him.  The jury found him not guilty on September 20 following the misconduct trial.

One week after the MCPO announced the second set of criminal charges against Ruiz, he was terminated on June 7, 2016.

And, nearly a year after that, prosecutors secured the two-count indictment from the grand jury.

It's not the first time Ruiz has been accused of creepy behavior.  The city government paid $150,00 in October 2016 to settle a lawsuit filed against him by his former co-worker, Nalda Capo.

The complaint againt Ruiz, a close ally of Mayor Wilda Diaz, claimed that he made inappropriate comments and "incessantly stared at her" for the 12 years that they worked together.

According to the complaint, Ruiz gave Capo a strange, handwritten note: “Nalda, please make time to see me on this ASAP.”

The back of the note stated that her only job was to take care of “the crib,” “Papi” (Ruiz’s Nickname), and that her nails and hair should be done weekly.

The strange letter also promised "Mucho Loven" and "(Relocated to Warm Weather)."