A member of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's security detail has been suspended after he was charged with shoplifting in Pennsylvania, according to police and court records — and he reportedly asked officers to go easy on him because of his job.
State Police Trooper William Alexander Carvounis, 36, of North Brunswick, N.J., was free on bond Monday pending a scheduled arraignment next Monday in Berks County, Pa., Common Pleas Court.
Carvounis was arrested Jan. 8 at Cabela's Foremost Outfitters, a hunting and fishing store in Tilden Township, and charged with two counts of retail theft, a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days in jail, according to court records.
Carvounis begged Tilden Township police to drop the matter out of "professional courtesy," the independent journalism site New Jersey Watchdog — which first disclosed his arrest — reported Monday.
But "we don't give preferential treatment when someone breaks the law," Police Chief William McEllroy told the site.
Carvounis' attorney confirmed that his client worked on Christie's security detail and told The Associated Press that he denied all of the accusations.
But McEllroy insisted, "That is absolutely what occurred."
No one answered a call seeking comment to a phone number listed for Carvounis' address late Monday afternoon. New Jersey records show that he has a valid hunting license.
According to the arrest affidavit, Carvounis was recorded on surveillance video filling a shopping basket as he walked around the store, stopping from time to time to rip open the packaging of some items, which he then stuffed in the roomy pockets of his cargo pants.
To cover his tracks, Carvounis allegedly went through the checkout line and paid for some items, according to the affidavit. But when he was stopped by police, he had eight other items in his pockets — including handgun grips and a magazine for a Kimber .22-caliber pistol.
He tried to sneak a ninth item out on his head: a Cabela's hat from which he'd ripped off the tag, the affidavit said.