Trooper Anthony Raspa
New Jersey State Police, New Jersey
End of Watch: Saturday, May 30, 2015
Tour of Duty: 1 year, 7 months
Badge Number: 7425
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: May 30, 2015
Weapon Used: Animal
Suspect Info: Not available
Agency Contact Information
Colonel Joseph Fuentes
New Jersey State Police
PO Box 7068
West Trenton, NJ 08628
Phone: (609) 882-2000
Trooper Anthony Raspa was killed in a vehicle crash on I-195 near mile marker 9 in Monmouth County, New Jersey, at approximately 12:48 am.
His patrol car he was driving struck a deer in the travel lane, and then left the roadway and collided with a tree. He and his partner were both transported to CentraState Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Trooper Raspa had served with the New Jersey State Police for 19 months.
FRANKLIN — Thousands of local, county and state police gathered at St. Matthias Church Thursday morning to say goodbye to state trooper Anthony Raspa, who was killed early Saturday morning in a crash on Route 195.
Law enforcement from as far away as California came to mourn, said State Police spokesman Capt. Stephen Jones.
Officers from various state police departments marched and lined up in formation in front of the church and along JFK Boulevard to pay their respects. Other officers marched as well.
JFK Boulevard, which was closed between New Brunswick Road and Hamilton Street for non-funeral traffic, was lined with traffic for as far as the eye could see. Police vehicles filled the parking lot. The service was held at 11 a.m. at Saint Matthias Church.
"It’s a very, very tragic day for us," Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said before the funeral. "It’s been a very, very tragic week.
"Anytime you lose somebody on the job it’s a loss for the family, and when I say family, the New Jersey State Police family. As you can see from the incredible display of support here, it’s a loss for law enforcement in it’s entirety," Fuentes said.
"We had him for a short time, a year and a half. He graduated from the academy in October 2013 and now we’re burying him, someone who had really the promise of a tremendous career," he said
He said Raspa was a creative writer, an artist and in outstanding physical shape.
"He could’ve been so much in his career," Fuentes said. "But we’re going to celebrate his life. Although he was only in our organization for a very short amount of time, he had already made his mark and left his legacy."
Raspa’s counsin, Paul Pappas, a detective with the North Brunswick Police Department, said he was close to Raspa and helped guide him into law enforcement. Raspa attended school and church at St. Matthias, Pappas said.
"It’s been very hard," Pappas said. "We have a very close-knit family and we’ve been getting each other through it.
"My fondest memories of Anthony was when he wrestled in high school. He had tremendous heart and athleticism. He would never quit.
"He was only about 150 pounds, but he had the heart of a 250-pound All-American linebacker."
Raspa, 24, of Highland Park, was driving his patrol vehicle eastbound on Route 195 in Upper Freehold when his Crown Victoria struck a deer and then ran off the road into the about 12:48 a.m. Raspa was taken to CentraState Hospital in Freehold where he was pronounced dead.
Raspa’s partner in the vehicle, Trooper Gene Hong, 29, was taken to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Hamilton where he was treated for lacerations and neck injuries, police said. Hong was released from the hospital the same day and is recovering from his injuries at home, police said.
Both Raspa and Hong were assigned to the Hamilton station.