William Foster was released to New Jersey parole supervision in March 2008. In July 2008 he absconded from supervision. The State Parole Board issued a missing warrant and a nationwide wanted persons notice. On August 7, 2008 Mr. Foster was arrested by the New Britain Township Police Department in Bucks County on charges of theft, receiving stolen property, and on the New Jersey parole warrant.
On August 7, 2008, State Parole Board officers communicated with the Bucks County Jail and were assured that the State Parole Board's warrant was on file at that facility as a detainer. In the State of New Jersey, a subject arrested for parole violation cannot be released on bail without an order from the State Parole Board.
Following the news of the tragic death of Sgt. Simpson, the State Parole Board began an investigation to ascertain how Mr. Foster had been released from the Bucks County jail, despite the New Jersey parole warrant being on file as a detainer. The agency learned that a Bucks County judge had set bail on the new charges filed against Mr. Foster in August, and included the New Jersey State Parole Board's warrant in that bail order.
Mr. Foster subsequently posted bail and was released from Bucks County custody on August 11, 2008. The State Parole Board was not notified of the release of Mr. Foster, despite the New Jersey detainer. The agency was awaiting word from Bucks County that Mr. Foster was ready for extradition back to New Jersey to await parole revocation proceedings.
At this time, the New Jersey State Parole Board is in contact with Philadelphia County officials to once again place the parole warrant on file against Mr. Foster as a detainer. The New Jersey State Parole Board will cooperate with Pennsylvania authorities in any investigation of this matter. On behalf of the entire agency, State Parole Board Chairman Peter J. Barnes Jr. expresses his condolences to the family of Sgt. Simpson, and to the entire Philadelphia Police Department.