🔴 A temporary restraining order was issued against Detective Matthew Curtis in 2022

🔴 A weapon Curtis said he sold was involved in a crime

An Island Heights police detective who once delivered a baby while on duty was indicted by a grand jury on charges he filed a false report about guns he owned.

When Matthew Curtis, 47, of Little Egg Harbor, was served a temporary restraining order in May 2022, he was ordered to surrender any weapons he owned, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer. Curtis turned over a "number" of weapons.

Two days later, Curtis reported three other handguns he owned had been sold before the restraining order was issued and they were no longer registered to him.

Then Curtis' story began to unravel, according to Billhimer.

A trace by the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in December showed Curtis was still the registered owner. Curtis told Little Egg Harbor police three handguns had been stolen from his unlocked personal vehicle parked in front of his home. Further investigation revealed that one of those handguns was a weapon Curtis said he sold.

The same handgun was found in the possession of an individual accused of a car theft in Essex County, according to Billhimer. Curtis was processed at the Ocean County Sheriff's Office in February and released on a summons. He was also placed on paid suspension from the Island Heights police since his arrest in February.

Island Beach police Officer Matt Curtis
Island Beach police Officer Matt Curtis (Island Beach police)

'Clerical error' led to incorrect report?

The grand jury indicted Curtis on charges of providing a false report to law enforcement authorities, contempt of a judicial or protective order, and being a certain person prohibited from possessing a weapon.

Curtis' attorney, S. Karl Mohel, told the Asbury Park Press that his client owns many weapons and blamed a "clerical error" for the inaccurate reporting by his client.

Payroll records show Curtis has been a police officer since 2004 and earns $82,516 per year. Curtis helped deliver a baby girl while on duty in November 7, 2020, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Facebook page.

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