NJ OAG: Cherry Hill Officer Cleared in 2022 Use-of-Force Case


A grand jury declined to charge Officer Jared Fox with any wrongdoing in an October 2022 incident in which a resident took his own life while police were present.

By Matt Skoufalos | November 9, 2023

A year after authorities reported that a Cherry Hill man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound sustained during a police wellness check, a state grand jury voted not to file any criminal charges against the officers involved.

Around 2 p.m. on October 11, 2022, Cherry Hill Police were dispatched to the home of 63-year-old Joseph Bestic, Jr., for a wellness check.

According to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Bestic, Jr. admitted the responding officers into his home, at which point he withdrew a gun, and shot himself.

During the encounter, Cherry Hill Officer Jared Fox also fired his service weapon, striking Bestic, Jr. in the arm once, “causing a superficial injury,” the OAG reported.

Bestic, Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene, and the grand jury determined that Fox’s actions did not cause the man’s death. Those deliberations concluded October 23, 2023.

Whenever a civilian death occurs in an encounter with law enforcement, the OAG is statutorily required to investigate. This mandatory independent prosecutor directive follows a 10-step process designed to be free of conflicts of interest. Furthermore, OAG reported that “no actual or potential conflict of interest was found involving any individual assigned to the investigation.

Cherry Hill Police Chief Robert Kempf said the department was “thankful for the Attorney General’s thorough and independent investigation.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bestic family, as the incident was a tragedy,” Kempf said.

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