Haddonfield Deputy Mayor Jeff Kasko has been charged with assaulting a borough police officer in an incident that began after a confrontation with a process server who tried to deliver divorce papers to him at his home, authorities said Friday.
About 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, police responded to a report of an accident at Kasko’s home, said Police Chief Jason Cutler. Kasko backed his 2012 black Volkswagen Passat out of his driveway, striking the process server’s 2013 white BMW, which was partially blocking the driveway, police records show.
Kasko left the scene and the process server called police, the chief said. According to police records, the process server had gone to Kasko’s home to deliver divorce papers. Kasko crashed into the process server’s car “in an attempt to get away from being served the legal documents," according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest.
Kasko was not there when police arrived but returned while Patrolman Joni Frangieh was investigating the earlier crash, Cutler said. Frangieh was struck by a side rear-view mirror on Kasko’s car, the chief said.
Frangieh was trying to get Kasko to stop as the commissioner entered the driveway blowing his horn, but to no avail, Cutler said. The officer suffered minor injuries, the chief said Friday.
Frangieh, who joined the department six months ago, said Kasko told him he had left the scene of the accident because he had errands to run. He said Kasko berated him and accused him of not maintaining a professional demeanor. Frangieh called for backup and Kasko asked for the police chief.
“It obviously put the Haddonfield Police Department in an awkward position,” Cutler said. "My officers handled themselves as they would treat any other resident. "
Kasko was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, assault with a motor vehicle, criminal mischief, and numerous motor vehicle offenses, including reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and failure to report an accident. He was held overnight in the Camden County Jail and released Thursday. He faces a first appearance hearing Tuesday in Superior Court in Cherry Hill.
Kasko, 54, and his wife, Theresa, did not respond to a message left at the home.
Mayor Neal Rochford, who is on medical leave, did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Kasko, a Republican, is one of three commissioners in the affluent community of about 11,000 residents. The commissioners select the mayor and deputy mayor. Kasko is serving his third four-year term in office. First elected in 2009, Kasko also is commissioner for revenue and finance.
Camden County GOP Chairman Richard Ambrosino did not respond to messages.
In 2013, Kasko was elected to a second term on the Board of Commissioners and was selected by his fellow commissioners to be mayor. He became Haddonfield’s first new mayor in 12 years, replacing Letitia Colombi, who decided to not seek another term.