PISCATAWAY, N.J. — A New Jersey police officer who allegedly struck a suspect who was detained in a patrol car and then tried to cover it up has been suspended without pay.

Middlesex County prosecutors say Piscataway Officer Todd Ritter is charged with assault and tampering with public records. It wasn’t known Thursday if the 54-year-old Millstone resident has retained an attorney.

Prosecutors say Ritter was on duty when he struck a suspect, but did not say when it happened. They claim he then falsified a police record by entering inaccurate information in an attempt to conceal his actions.

The charges were filed Tuesday. Ritter is due to make his initial court appearance March 15.