Planet Princeton

Mercer County Sheriff: Officer Who Pepper Sprayed Woman at Arena Was Forced to Resign in October

Sean Lavin resigned from his position with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office in order to avoid jail time for a 2013 incident in which he allegedly used excessive force, using pepper spray on a woman who was arrested at the Sun National Bank Arena and was handcuffed.

But the Mercer County Police and Sheriff’s Association Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #140 has been the subject of recent complaints to the Sheriff’s Office because the Lodge’s recent fundraising solicitations continue to utilize Lavin’s name as president and rank of sergeant in requests for donations from the public.

Under the terms of an agreement struck by the Superior Court in Burlington County back in October, Lavin, a 14-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was ordered to resign his position with
the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office. He is barred from seeking any employment with the County
of Mercer, now and in the future and was given 18 months of supervision and community
service.

Lavin, 44, of Hamilton Township, was accused of pepper spraying a handcuffed woman during
an event on December 6, 2013. Lavin, who held the rank of Sergeant, had been on suspension
without pay since the incident.

If Lavin satisfies all of the requirements of the agreement, his charges stemming from the 2013
incident will be settled. If he does not, officials said the former officer could be subject to further prosecution.

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Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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