Serious Motor Vehicle Crash On Windsor-Perrineville Road In East Windsor Injures 5

September 20, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–According to East Windsor Police, on Monday, September 20, 2021, at approximately 7:00 a.m., East Windsor Police responded to Windsor-Perrineville Road and Cedarville Road for a report of a head-on motor vehicle collision involving multiple injuries. One of the vehicles was a sedan with four juvenile occupants; the other was a pickup truck with a sole occupant. Upon arrival, East Windsor Police, Robert Wood Johnson EMS, Capital Health Paramedics, East Windsor Rescue Squad # 1, East Windsor Rescue Squad #2, Robbinsville EMS, and Millstone Fire-EMS personnel immediately began administering first aid to several individuals. Millstone Township Fire Department, Hightstown Fire Company and East Windsor Fire Company responded and extricated a passenger from the sedan.

All four individuals in the sedan suffered serious injuries. The driver was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center by Millstone Township Fire Department EMS. The front passenger and a rear seat passenger were transported to the McKnight Elementary School by Robert Wood Johnson EMS and East Windsor Rescue Squad #1 and then transported by medevac to RWJ New Brunswick by NJ State Police Northstar Medical Helicopter and RWJBarnabas Health Helicopter. A third helicopter from Hackensack Meridian Health was not needed. The other rear seat passenger was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center by Robbinsville EMS. The driver of the pickup truck suffered minor injuries and was transported to RWJ New Brunswick by East Windsor Rescue Squad #2.

Police say, the preliminary investigation revealed that the sedan was traveling west on Windsor-Perrineville Road and the pickup truck was traveling east on Windsor-Perrineville Road. The vehicles collided, head-on, near the intersection of Cedarville Road. The East Windsor Township Police Department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Collision Response Team are actively investigating the crash.

Vehicle Involved:


2005 Toyota Tundra
New Jersey Registration: C27EXU

Hector Esteban-Palomo (41 Years of Age) Trenton, NJ

Vehicle Involved:


2019 Nissan Sentra
New Jersey Registration: Z64NHX

Driver: Juvenile (17 Years of Age) Front seat passenger: Juvenile (16 Years of Age) East Windsor, NJ

Rear passengers: Juvenile (16 Years of Age) Juvenile (14 Years of Age) Millstone, NJ

Charges: None

Responding Agencies:

East Windsor Township Police Department, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Collision Response Team, Capital Health Paramedics, East Windsor Rescue Squad #1, East Windsor Rescue Squad #2, Millstone EMS, Robert Wood Johnson EMS, East Windsor Fire Company 1 & 2, Robbinsville Township Fire Department & EMS, Millstone Township Fire Department, Hightstown Fire Company, NJ State Police Northstar Helicopter, RWJBarnabas Health Helicopter, Hackensack Meridian Health Helicopter.

TWW to Replace 1.8 Miles of Water Main in Ewing Township Next Fall

September 20, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that Trenton Water Works (TWW) will replace approximately 1.8 miles of 16-inch water main in Ewing Township north of Princeton Avenue to Sutherland Road beginning in the fall of 2022.

“We measure TWW’s capital projects in the millions of dollars,” said Mayor Gusciora. “This is the level of investment, commitment, and leadership required to ensure that TWW continues to produce some of the highest quality drinking water in the United States for our customers and service-area consumers – drinking water that meets or exceeds rigorous federal and state standards.”

On Sept. 16, 2021, Trenton City Council approved the use of $4 million from the city’s allotment of American Rescue Plan funding to pay for the Ewing Township water main replacement project. When complete, the project will help maintain high water quality and improve water-distribution system reliability, increase water pressure in some areas, and maintain adequate flows throughout the TWW system. The scope of work includes replacing approximately 9,500 linear feet of 16-inch water main north of Princeton Avenue to Sutherland Road in Ewing Township. TWW has more than 10,000 customers in Ewing Township.

“We are very pleased that Trenton Water Works is making this investment in the Olden Avenue business district, a vital part of Ewing Township’s economy and quality of life,” said Bert H. Steinmann, Mayor of Ewing Township. “In recent years and months, the number of water main breaks on Olden Avenue has supported the argument that this project is fundamentally needed. Many thanks to Mayor Reed Gusciora and Trenton City Council for making it a priority.”

TWW has undertaken several capital projects since it announced its six-year, $405-million capital plan in 2019. The plan includes $150-million to remove lead infrastructure from its water-distribution system and at private residences; $20 million to replace water meters systemwide with smart meters; $30 million to construct two 8-million-gallon tanks across the street from the Pennington Avenue Reservoir to improve system resiliency; $5.5 million to rehabilitate the water-filtration plant’s raw-water intake; and $3 million to clean and line water mains in targeted areas of TWW’s 683-mile water-distribution system.

“With approved funding authorized by City Council, we can start the design phase of the project. We are immensely grateful for their support and Mayor Gusciora’s leadership,” said Mark A. Lavenberg, Director of the city’s Department of Water and Sewer, which operates Trenton Water Works. TWW serves nearly 250,000 consumers in its five-municipality service area. “We will prepare the specifications, put it out for public bid, evaluate proposals, and ultimately award the project to a vendor as part of our work to improve the performance of TWW’s water-distribution system.”

Purchased by the City of Trenton in 1859, Trenton Water Works (TWW) is one of the oldest and largest publicly owned water systems in the United States, supplying 28 million gallons of water per day to approximately a quarter-million consumers in a five-municipality service area in Mercer County, NJ: Trenton, Ewing Township, parts of Hamilton Township, Lawrence Township, and Hopewell Township. TWW operates a 60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that includes a 100-million-gallon reservoir, 683 miles of water mains, three pump stations, nearly 8,000 valves, 3,517 fire hydrants, and six interconnections between TWW and other water suppliers. TWW has approximately 63,000 metered customers.

22-Year-Old Dies In South Brunswick Crash

September 20, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announced today that an early morning crash resulting in one fatality is under investigation.

At approximately 4:35 A.M., on September 19, 2021, South Brunswick police officers responded to the area of Major Road for a single-car motor vehicle crash. The investigation revealed a 2005 Ford F-350 driven by a 22- year-old Pennsylvania man left the roadway and overturned. A passenger in the vehicle, Gerald Pellak, III, 22, of Dayton, died at the scene.

The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer William Beard of the South Brunswick Police Department at (732) 329-4000 ext. 7439, or Detective Jonathan Berman of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4328.

Fight Between Several Inmates Leads To Stabbing At Mercer County Corrections Center

September 20, 2021

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A fight occurred between several inmates last night around 10:15 p.m., at the Mercer County Corrections Center also known as the “Workhouse” at 1750 River Road, lead to a stabbing.

According to a Mercer County Spokesperson, Julie Willmot, a fight occurred last night, Sept. 19, 2021 between several inmates. The fight took place in the New Commitment Unit (intake). One of the inmates involved in the fight had a homemade shank in his possession, which he used to stab another inmate. The inmate who was stabbed was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and will be returned to the Correction Center today.  The weapon was recovered. 

Crash On NJ Turnpike Exit 7A North Bound Ramp Sends One To The Hospital

September 19, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–At 11:33 a.m. the Robbinsville Township and Bordentown Township Fire Departments and EMS were sent to a crash in the area of Exit 7A with a person with a head injury. The accident was at a different location than originally reported, and was found on the north bound exit ramp from the inner roadway to Exit 7A fly over bridge and was blocking traffic. The person was transferred to the ambulance and paramedics were called and met the Robbinsville ambulance near the toll plaza. The person was transported to the trauma center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton. NJ State Police controlled traffic and is investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time.

Six Rescued From Serious Boat Accident On LBI, One Critical Condition, 5 Others Stable Condition

September 19, 2021 — 10:55 a.m. update see USCG press release below. Also see updated information from the New Jersey State Police below the USCG press release.

BEACH HAVEN, N.J. – The Coast Guard, and the Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Department rescued six boaters after their 30-foot white pleasure craft struck a fixed aid to navigation in the vicinity of Ham Island, Sunday. 

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Command Center received a call from a good Samaritan at 12:18 a.m., stating he overheard a large crash and several calls for help in the vicinity of Ham Island.

A 29-foot Response Boat-Small boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Beach Haven was launched to the scene at approximately 12:20 a.m., along with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Atlantic City, and a jet ski crew from Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Department. Beach Haven Police Department shore crews were also launched.

Once on scene at approximately 12:32 a.m, the Station Beach Haven boatcrew, and the Beach Haven Volunteer Fire Department jet ski crews were able to successfully rescue all six boaters from the water. They had all sustained several injuries from the crash.

The boaters were safely taken back to shore where local emergency medical services personnel transported them to various local hospitals. 

Sector Delaware Bay issued a safety marine information broadcast to mariners to be aware of potential debris in the area from the crash.

Coast Guard crews will be actively working to fix the aid to navigation. 

Updated information from the New Jersey State Police:

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–The crash occurred last evening at approximately 11:58 p.m. in the Little Egg Harbor in Long Beach Township, Ocean County.  Preliminary information indicates that a 25-foot Bertram Vessel struck Intercoastal Waterway marker 92.  The vessel sustained disabling damage and all six occupants were ejected into the harbor.  Two occupants were airlifted to Atlanticare Regional Medical Center and the remaining four occupants were transported by ambulance to Southern Ocean Medical Center.  One occupant is in critical but stable condition, and the other five occupants are in stable condition.  The crash remains under investigation.

Early morning Breaking News report here:

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–MidJersey.News is following reports of a serious boat crash that happened around 12:30 a.m. off of Hideaway Drive in Long Beach Township. Numerous fire and EMS departments were sent to the scene.

Two medical helicopters were called to the scene along with the U.S. Coast Guard. Initial reports are that one boat was involved and unconfirmed reports of six patients, and two were missing. A Ocean County Fire Coordinator was called and a command post was set up at the Beach Haven Park Yacht Club. Around 1:23 a.m. all persons were accounted for. The NJ State Police accident investigation team was notified.

Medivac from Hackensack Meridian Health AirMed landed at 1:38 a.m. at landing zone in Ship Bottom/Surf City at the park behind Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School

Robbinsville Community Day Fireworks Held

September 18, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Unfortunately, most of the 2021 Robbinsville Community Day was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns about an outbreak of the virus in the Robbinsville School District. The planned fireworks were held on schedule shortly after 8:00 p.m.

See update below the photo gallery from Brian J. Betze, Superintendent of Robbinsville Schools about the latest COVID-19 information.

Photo gallery:

September 18, 2021

Dear Robbinsville Community,

I am providing an update on the COVID-19 outbreaks within our schools and the next steps we can take to slow the public health outbreak we are currently seeing in our schools.

As we began the school year, I stressed the importance of safety and health for all of our students, staff and faculty. I asked families/guardians to please follow the health safety guidelines. Our Board of Education and the administration want to have our students in the classroom. We are committed to providing quality education and focusing on the mental health of our students.

Currently we know that only 62% of our students in the 12-17 age category are vaccinated. This crosses our middle and high school students. The Department of Health has made us aware that the Delta variant is very different in being able to combat COVID-19.

The number of COVID-19 positive cases have increased significantly at our high school this past week. Working in partnership with the State of New Jersey Department of Health and local health department we have determined that it is in the best interest to temporarily close the high school for five school days. Conversations over the past few days have taken place with the State of NJ Epidemiologist, multiple infection disease doctors from the State of New Jersey and the local health department to determine where the outbreaks are coming from within the community. 

Robbinsville High School will be closed from September 20 – 24, 2021. Students may return on Monday, September 27th, as long as they do not exhibit symptoms, have a positive COVID test or are waiting on the results from a COVID test and the Department of Health does not require us to be closed for a longer period of time.

We do have a significant number of students at Pond Road who are quarantined and one class at Sharon Elementary that is quarantined, but based on current contract tracing and feedback from health officials, we feel that the precautions in place allow us to continue in person learning. We are continuing to monitor and work with families for contract tracing and parent notification at all of our schools. It is important that if you receive a call, please assist us in contract tracing efforts. If you have not received a call at this time your child has not been identified as being in close contact with an individual who is positive. If you have needs for technology or meals for a student that has been asked to quarantine, please contact your respective principal.

Remote instruction will begin on Monday, September 20th for all high school students. All students are expected to be at home for remote instruction.  This will give the state and local officials time to conduct contact tracing and the district the ability to do a deep cleaning of the high school.

If you receive special education services, your case manager will reach out to discuss how your IEP will be implemented during remote learning.

Additionally, it is important for the community to understand that none of the decisions that have been made about our sports teams, clubs and activities that had to be canceled were done lightly. These cancelations were done based on the guidance and direction from health officials and working in partnership to stop the spread we are seeing in our schools. Our goal is that we are only pausing for now and able to resume quickly. We understand the importance of these activities and are working to get special senior activities rescheduled or recognized at a separate date. Our goal is to keep everyone safe.

I remind families/guardians that if your child(ren) need counseling support that resources are available in the district. Please visit the counseling page for your respective school building – Robbinsville High School, Pond Road Middle School or Sharon Elementary School.

Our administration will continue to work in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Health and the local health department. State and local health department officials along with the administration have been in constant communication about the outbreaks and what we can do to limit the spread. The decision to close the high school for five days was made in partnership and in an effort to best stop the spread of COVID-19 and control the public health outbreak we are seeing in Robbinsville.

We will continue to work in partnership with all health officials to get our students back in the classroom, but we need the community to work with us, as well. Please be honest in completing the COVID form, please work with school officials to assist with contact tracing. We appreciate the support of the Board of Education, Mayor Fried and other local leaders for also working in conjunction with the health department and canceling events in an effort to get in front of these outbreaks.  If we work together, we can get through this time and be stronger for it.

Thank you,

Brian J. Betze

Car Fire Quickly Extinguished In Ewing Township

September 18, 2021

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–About 4:50 p.m. today, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 Ewing Township
firefighters were dispatched to a car fire in front of the Game Stop store at 1632 North Olden Avenue, near Arctic Parkway. The engine compartment of Dodge Charger was well involved on arrival of Squirt 31. Chief 31 called an extra engine (Engine 30). Ladder Tower 31 also responded. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire and there were no apparent injuries reported. Ewing Police closed the roadway until the fire was out.

Listen to the audio from the fire here

Dangerous Rip Currents At Jersey Shore Multiple Rescues In Toms River Area; One In Critical Condition Others Hospitalized

September 18, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Saturday, September 18, 2021, at approximately 11:20 a.m., police and EMS were dispatched to 2nd Ave and Ocean Terrace in Normandy Beach for a swimmer in distress. Witnesses reported that a male was caught in a rip current and struggling to keep his head above water. Joseph Gates of Hopatcong, entered the water with his surfboard and was able to keep the victim above water. Two additional surfers, Thomas Galbraith of Warren, and Colin Cronin of Lavalette, also entered the water with their surfboards and were able to assist Mr. Gates and the victim back to shore. There were no injuries and none of the involved parties required medical assistance.

At approximately 12:30 PM police and EMS were dispatched to 8th Avenue and Ocean Ave in Ortley Beach for multiple swimmers in distress. A 22 year old female from New Fairfield, CT was the first swimmer to be pulled out of the ocean by friends and was treated by EMS and transported to Community Medical Center by a Toms River Ambulance. At this time she is stable and expected to make a full recovery.

A 29 year old male from Freehold was the next victim to be pulled out of the ocean, also by friends. He was conscious and treated by EMS as he was transported to Community Medical Center with medics on board. He is listed in stable condition.

The third victim, a 27 year old female from Brookfield, CT, had been going under water multiple times and appeared to not be moving. A rescue wave runner from Seaside Heights Fire Department was able to rescue her and bring her to shore. The firefighters onboard the wave runner performed CPR as they brought her to the beach. Once on the beach, EMS and medics continued CPR and were able to regain a pulse prior to her being transported to Community Medical Center. At this time she is listed in critical condition.

Police officers cleared the township’s ocean waters of all swimmers due to the dangerous water conditions.

See United States Lifesaving Association about Rip Currents and NOAA and USLA Rip Current Safety Toolkit

Rip Current Statement

Coastal Hazard Message
National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ
316 AM EDT Sat Sep 18 2021

Delaware Beaches-Eastern Monmouth-Atlantic Coastal Cape May-
Coastal Atlantic-Coastal Ocean-
316 AM EDT Sat Sep 18 2021


* WHAT...Dangerous rip currents.

* WHERE...In New Jersey, Coastal Ocean, Atlantic Coastal Cape
  May, Eastern Monmouth and Coastal Atlantic. In Delaware,
  Delaware Beaches.

* WHEN...Through this evening.

* IMPACTS...Rip currents can sweep even the best swimmers away
  from shore into deeper water.


Entering the surf is discouraged. If caught in a rip current,
relax and float. Don`t swim against the current. If able, swim in
a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face
the shore and call or wave for help.

Pair Invades And Robbs Hamilton Home While Resident Was Sleeping Brandishing A Large Knife During During Struggle With Resident Leaving Resident Injured

September 18, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On September 14, 2021, at approximately 3:15 a.m., Hamilton Police were detailed to the first block of Lincoln Court on a Home Invasion/ Robbery.  Responding officers were advised by the resident that two black male suspects entered her residence through a kitchen window, while she was sleeping. Once inside the residence, the victim awoke and a physical altercation ensued, with one of the suspects brandishing a large knife. The suspects fled the scene on bicycles with several items of value.  The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries due to her struggle with the suspects. 

Hamilton Police Detective Benjamin Zuzzio developed two suspects involved in this incident through video surveillance. The first suspect was identified as 19 year old Hamilton resident, John Goddridge.  The second suspect was  identified as 24 year old Hamilton resident, Divine Thompson.  Criminal complaints were generated for their arrest.

On September 17,2021, the Hamilton Police Anti-Crime Unit located and arrested both suspects regarding this incident.

Hamilton Police Detectives are asking the public if anyone has additional information  concerning this incident to contact Detective Benjamin Zuzzio of the Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 581-4030, via email at or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Robbinsville Community Day Festival Cancelled For Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 Due To COVID-19 Concerns


September 17, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Community Day Festival Cancelled For Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 Due To COVID-19 Concerns and outbreak at all three Robbinsville schools.

Statement from Robbinsville Mayor & Director of Public Safety Dave Fried

“It is with profound regret that due to an outbreak of COVID-19 at all three Robbinsville schools and a spike in cases throughout Robbinsville Township, tomorrow’s Community Day Festival at Community Park has been canceled.
Fireworks will still take place at approximately 8 p.m., but we are asking residents to remain with their vehicles and maintain a safe social distance. We’re obviously incredibly disappointed and heartbroken about this sudden development, as we were really looking forward to getting back to normalcy. However, the safety of our residents is paramount and comes before everything else. I know how disappointed many of you must be, but I cannot in good conscience move forward with this event in light of this outbreak. We wish a speedy recovery to all those infected and we will continue to work to ultimately break the back of this virus.”

New Jersey State Police and Brigantine Police Solve 25-Year-Old Cold Case

Detectives Use DNA Evidence to Arrest Suspect for Sexual Assault of 10-year-old Girl

September 17, 2021

Brigantine, NJ (ATLANTIC) – The New Jersey State Police and Brigantine Police Department have charged Brian Lee Avis, 59, of Egg Harbor City, N.J., for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl during a 1996 home invasion, after detectives used DNA evidence to solve the 25-year-old cold case.

On July 19, 1996, the Brigantine Police Department responded to the report of a sexual assault at a residence on East Evans Boulevard in Brigantine City, Atlantic County. A male suspect allegedly broke into the residence in the middle of the night and sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl while she was sleeping. When the victim woke up, the suspect fled the scene.

Detectives collected evidence at the scene and obtained a DNA sample of the suspect from the victim’s bed. The suspect’s DNA profile had been generated in 2002 and was uploaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), which is a national DNA collection database, however there were no CODIS matches for the profile.

During the summers of 1995 and 1996, there were approximately 14 reported incidents of an individual engaging in voyeuristic behavior and attempted sexual assaults of two sleeping teenage girls in the Brigantine area. The incidents created widespread panic and concern in the community which led to an increased presence by the Brigantine Police Department. When the investigation was renewed, investigators determined that the suspect lived in the vicinity, but he was never identified, and the cases remained unsolved.

In January of 2021, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit and Brigantine Police Department reopened the case in a cooperative investigation. Detectives began working with the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences (OFS) and a private company specializing in Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG). The evidence was resubmitted to OFS and a more robust DNA sample for the suspect was obtained.

On July 26, 2021, detectives submitted the DNA to a private laboratory for analysis. The laboratory conducted Microarray Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) testing for IGG analysis in an attempt to identify genetic relatives of the suspect based on the DNA sample obtained at the scene. Through various investigative means, detectives identified Brian Lee Avis as the suspect.

On September 12, detectives located Avis and escorted him to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, where they executed a search warrant for his DNA. Detectives obtained the sample by using a buccal swab, which collects DNA from cells inside of a person’s cheek. The sample was submitted for forensic analysis, which revealed a positive match to the DNA obtained at the scene.

On September 13, detectives arrested Avis and charged him with aggravated sexual assault of a child under 13 years old, sexual assault of a child under 13 years old, burglary, and endangering the welfare of child. He was lodged at the Atlantic County Jail.

“No matter how long ago a crime occurred, we are committed to ensuring those who break the law are held accountable,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck. “I want to recognize the outstanding job by all law enforcement officers involved in the review and reinvestigation of this case. Their persistence in the search for justice reflects the very best of our law enforcement profession.”

“The sanctity and security of a 10-year-old girl’s bedroom was violated by a heinous act committed 25 years ago, violently stripping her of her innocence resulting in emotional scars that are as fresh today as they were that fateful summer night in 1996,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “I commend our Cold Case Unit detectives and members of the Brigantine Police Department for reopening this case and working collaboratively by using modern technology to bring justice and closure for the victim.”

“First I want to thank the original Brigantine Police detectives who did a great job collecting and preserving the evidence 25 years ago. That evidence was preserved for 25 years and was able to still be used after all this time. It is a testament to their diligent detective work and the evidence custodians over the years who maintained and preserved the evidence for 25 years,” said Chief Rich Casamento, Brigantine Police Department. “Several months ago, Detective Sergeant Glasser of the Brigantine Police identified this evidence as a case that could be solved using current DNA technology. He advised the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit of his findings and re-opened the case. This case being solved is the result of the excellent investigative efforts of Detective Sergeant Glasser, the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit, and the original detectives 25 years ago. It is an example of the relentless pursuit of justice and all of them should be commended. I want to thank Colonel Callahan and the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit for their partnership and teamwork that led to solving this case. I hope closing this case brings some peace and healing to the victim and her family.”

“Our law enforcement partnerships and the dogged work since 1996, that has been completed by detectives at the Brigantine Police Department, and the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit has resulted in the arrest of Brian Lee Avis for the sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl in her bedroom 25 years ago,” said Cary Shill, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor. “I commend our law enforcement officers who worked together, staying committed to this case and 25 years later forensic science and their commitment to justice have resulted in these charges and the arrest of 59-year-old Brian Lee Avis.”

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant John Glasser of the Brigantine Police Department at (609)266-7600 ext. 276 or Detective Sergeant First Class Joseph Itri of the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Unit at (833) 4NJ-COLD. Anonymous tips are welcome.

Charges are mere accusations, and the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty.

Shooting Homicide on Race Street in Trenton Under Investigation

September 17, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department are investigating a shooting that occurred in Trenton early Friday morning that left one victim dead, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

At approximately 12:53 a.m., on September 17, 2021, Trenton police were dispatched to a home on Race Street on a report of an unresponsive male. Responding officers located a 37-year-old male victim with gunshot wounds, identified as Jeff Charles of Trenton, NJ. He was pronounced deceased.

The investigation is ongoing, and no arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Bill Jones at the Mercer County Homicide Task Force office, (609) 989-6406. Tips can also be emailed to

Names of 2021* homicide victims: 

  1. 2/18/2021 Jabree Saunders, 26, from shooting on May 14, 2018
  2. 2/22/2021 Khalil Gibbs, 25, of West Windsor, shooting
  3. 2/25/2021 Lovelle Laramore, 60, of Trenton shooting
  4. 4/15/2021 Kaheem Carter, 22, of Trenton, shooting
  5. 4/20/2021 Shaquan McNeil, 25, of Trenton, shooting
  6. 4/24/2021 Cheryl Jones, 65, of Trenton, shooting
  7. 4/29/2021 Ramire Harvey, 25, of Trenton, shooting
  8. 5/15/2021 David Williams 36, of Trenton, shooting
  9. 5/29/2021 Edgar Geovani Sis-Luis, 34, of Trenton, aggravated manslaughter
  10. 7/05/2021 Dion Ellis, 16, Trenton, Shooting
  11. 7/14/2021 Pablo Herrera Chun, 53, Trenton, Shooting
  12. 7/19/2021 William Mitchell, 33, Trenton, Shooting
  13. 7/19/2021 Jermel Carter, 38, Trenton, Shooting
  14. 7/29/2021 Leonard Pettigrew, 58, Trenton, Shooting
  15. 7/30/2021 Shaquil Loftin, 23, Shooting, Trenton
  16. 8/01/2021 Daquan Basnight, 30, of Ewing, Shooting
  17. 8/13/2021 Javier Chaj-Ajtun, 33, of Trenton, Shooting
  18. 8/19/2021 Herberth Ramirez Pimentel, 37, of Trenton, Shooting
  19. 8/23/2021 Yanquai Edwards, 25, of Rancocas, NJ, Shooting
  20. 8/25/2021 Daron Cheston, 18, Trenton, Shooting
  21. 8/30/2021 Fred Davis, 43, Trenton, Shooting
  22. 9/06/2021 Shamiem Young, 26, Trenton, Shooting
  23. 9/17/2021 Jeff Charles, 37, Trenton, Shooting

*Updated to reflect the person who died in 2021 from complications from a shooting on May 14, 2018 as per medical examiner report.

Double Stabbing at Kingsbury Towers In Trenton

September 17, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police, TEMS, Capital Health Paramedics and Trenton Fire responded to the West Tower of the Kingsbury Corporation around 12:15 a.m. for a stabbing. After locating two stabbing victims, It was reported that one of the victims was found near 4 Kingsbury Square.

Trenton EMS transporting one victim called a trauma alert at 12:23 a.m. The second unit with another victim called a trauma alert at 12:31 a.m.

According to Trenton Police Sgt. Ponticiello, two individuals involved in an alteration both were transported to hospital for treatment one of them was the  suspect and subsequently arrested.

No further information is available at this time.

TPD Charges Trenton Man for Illegal Dumping at Amtico Square

September 16, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Trenton Police Director Steve Wilson today announced that a Trenton man was charged with illegal dumping and other offenses after an anonymous tip was reported to TPD about illegal dumping at Amtico Square.

Robert V. Phillips, 59, of Trenton, was issued a summons for illegal dumping, trespassing on city property, and failure to change address.

Detectives received an anonymous tip of illegal dumping at 67 Tyrell Avenue and Amtico Square. Upon arrival, detectives encountered Phillips at the back of his vehicle taking apart an air conditioning unit. After observing various parts of the air conditioning on the ground and the back of Phillips’ truck, detectives questioned Phillips, who admitted that he uses the area to break down materials and hasn’t lived in the home in eight years. Phillips stated that he is aware that the property is city owned. He was issued a summons, and police confiscated his vehicle without incident.

The charges were made pursuant to Director Wilson’s Daytime Task Force, which seeks to provide additional resources to address quality of life issues throughout the City of Trenton, including aggressive panhandling, prostitution, speeding, illegal dumping, and open-air drug dealing.

“This instance of illegal dumping is the perfect example of why we formed our Daytime Task Force,” said Director Wilson. “We are going to use every tool at our disposal to keep our neighborhoods safe and clean. My thanks go out to the residents who passed along the information and the detectives who responded promptly to the scene.”

“We constantly strive to create an administration that is responsive to longstanding resident concerns, and illegal dumping has been a problem for far too long,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Trenton residents gave us a mandate, and we’re responding accordingly. Let this case be an example to others that the entire community and the TPD are on the lookout for these crimes.”

Anyone witnessing illegal dumping or have information regarding quality-of-life concerns should contact the TPD anonymous tip line at (609) 989-3784.

The charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

East Windsor Police Blotter Through September 15, 2021

September 16, 2021

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–The East Windsor Township Police Department initiated the following police reports through Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

1) DUI
Location: Dutch Neck Road/Woodside Avenue Time/Date: 11:10 PM, 9/10/2021

The officer conducted a motor vehicle stop after observing a vehicle fail to observe a red traffic signal on Route 130 south at Town Center Road. The individual exhibited signs of impairment and was placed under arrest after failing field sobriety tests. The individual was later released pending court action.



Victor Guachisaca East Windsor, NJ 46 Years of Age

· Careless Driving Reckless Driving
Refuse to Submit to Breath Tests Failure to Observe Signal

Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Christopher McDermott

2) Obstructing
Location: Route 130/Old Cranbury Road Time/Date: 11:25 AM, 9/12/2021

The officer conducted a motor vehicle stop on Route 130 north near Old Cranbury Road after discovering that the driver’s license was suspended. During the motor vehicle stop, the passenger provided a false name to the officer. The individual’s true identity was discovered and he was placed under arrest for obstructing and active warrants. The individual was later transported to the Mercer County Jail for the active warrants.

Defendant: Jeffrey A. Schnettler Jr.
Stewartsville, NJ
40 Years of Age

Charges: Obstructing Justice

Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Thomas Nicola

3) DUI
Location: Twin Rivers Drive Time/Date: 8:20 PM, 9/15/2021

The officer responded to Twin Rivers Drive near Edison Drive for a rep01i of a motor vehicle collision. Investigation revealed that the driver was intoxicated and lost control of the vehicle and struck two unoccupied vehicles while traveling on Twin Rivers Drive. The individual was placed under arrest after failing field sobriety tests and later released pending court action.



Luis Pasato
East Windsor, NJ
48 Years of Age

Careless Driving Reckless Driving

Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Brian Rust

4) Robbery
Location: 7-Eleven (Dutch Neck Commons) Time/Date: 1:00 PM, 9/15/2021

Officers responded to the 7-Eleven parking lot in Dutch Neck Commons for a reported disturbance. Investigation revealed that an individual robbed someone at gunpoint during a pre­ arraigned sale of a video game terminal that was negotiated over the internet. No injuries were sustained during the incident. The investigating Detective observed the suspect in the Colonade Motel parking lot shortly thereafter. A search of a motel room revealed a pellet gun and the clothing the suspect was wearing. The individual was arrested and detained in the Mercer County Jail pending court action.

Defendant: Raekwon Hill Trenton, NJ
19 Years of Age

Charges:                 Robbery

Unlawful Possession of a Weapon

Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose Theft

Criminal Mischief Arresting Officer: Detective Joseph Carabelli

The charges referenced above are merely accusations and the press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Ewing Police Capture Bank Robber Within Minutes

September 16, 2021

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—On Tuesday September 14, 2021 Ewing Township Police dispatch center received a call from an employee at TD Bank located at 1620 Olden Avenue. The caller stated that there was a hold up at the bank and that the suspect was still on location. Further information from the bank indicated that a male passed a note and demanded money. After receiving an unknown amount of money, the male fled the bank on foot. A description of the suspect was broadcast to responding units. Officer David Massi and Officer Joshua Mooring were in the area of the bank within minutes and observed a male matching the suspects description walking behind the CVS Pharmacy. The male was taken into custody without incident and subsequently found to be in possession of money belonging to TD Bank. The suspect was identified as Shareef Halley, 28, of Ewing. Halley was arrested and charged with Robbery and Terroristic Threat offenses.

This incident remains under investigation. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Ewing Police Detective David Morris at (609) 882-1313 ext 5561

All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Ewing Township Carjacker Busted In Trenton With Help From The NJSP Real Time Crime Center

September 16, 2021

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—On Monday September 13, 2021 at 9:54 a.m. the Ewing Township Police dispatch center received a phone call from a victim stating that he was just carjacked in the area of 62 Ronald DeLorenzo Avenue. Responding officers made contact with the victim, who had injuries consistent with being involved in a fight. The victim stated he was sitting in his car in the parking lot with his window partially open when he was approached by a male who asked if he had any weed and began peering into his vehicle. The suspect then pulled the victims door open and a fight ensued outside the vehicle. During the fight, the suspect was able to enter the victim’s vehicle and drive away.

With the assistance of the New Jersey State Police Real Time Crime Center in Trenton, the vehicle was eventually stopped by Trenton Police in the area of Perrry and Stockton Streets in Trenton. When stopped, the vehicle was being operated by Isaia Parker, 27, of Ewing. Parker was also identified as the suspect from the Ewing carjacking and was subsequently charged by Ewing Police with Carjacking, Aggravated Assault and Weapons offenses.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Ewing Police Officer Michael Manfredi at (609) 882-1313 ext. 7590 or Detective Nick Muscente at (609) 882-1313 ext. 7596

All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

East Windsor Man Indicted for New Brunswick Shooting

September 16, 2021

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Anthony
A. Caputo of the New Brunswick Police Department announce an East Windsor man has been indicted in connection with a September 2, 2020 shooting.

On September 15, 2021, a Middlesex County Grand Jury indicted Kyale Simonson, 33, of East Windsor with one count of first-degree Attempted Murder, one count of second-degree Aggravated Assault, and one count of second-degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose.

On September 2, 2020, at approximately 9:28 P.M., members of the New Brunswick Police responded to the area of Lee Avenue and Seaman Street and located two men who been shot. The men were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for their injuries.

An investigation by Detective Brandt Gregus of the New Brunswick Police Department and Detective Sean Sullivan of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office identified Simonson as the gunman.

The investigation is active and continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Gregus of the New Brunswick Police Department at (732)745-5200, or Detective Sullivan of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4060.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Simonson are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

$50,000 Powerball Ticket Sold In Hamilton Township

The ticket was sold at Whitehorse Mercerville Exxon, 1824 Whitehorse Mercerville Rd., Hamilton in Mercer County.

September 16, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–One New Jersey Lottery ticket matched four of the five white balls and the Powerball drawn for the Wednesday, September 15, drawing winning the $50,000 third-tier prize. The ticket was sold at Whitehorse Mercerville Exxon, 1824 Whitehorse Mercerville Rd., Hamilton in Mercer County.

The winning numbers for the Wednesday, September 15, drawing were: 01, 04, 18, 46, and 62. The Red Power Ball number was 25. The Power Play was 3X. 35,472 New Jersey players took home an estimated $205,373 in prizes ranging from $4 to $300. The Powerball jackpot rolled to $457,000,000 for the Saturday, September 18, drawing.

Double Play Results

The Double Play drawing is an additional drawing for players who opted-in to the Double Play feature on their tickets. The Double Play drawing results for the Wednesday, September 15, drawing were: 05, 34, 36, 38, and 57. The red Double Play Power Ball number was 07.

New Jersey State Record Gray Tilefish Certified, Caught On The Jamaica

September 16, 2021

BRIELLE, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has officially certified, and is pleased to announce, the catch of a new state record saltwater fish.

George Hanakis of Perth Amboy, reeled in the new state record Gray Tilefish on September 1, 2021. The fish weighed in at 23 pounds, 8 ounces, eclipsing the previous state record by 4 ounces and measured 34” in length with a girth of 25”. George was bottom fishing from the boat, Jamaica, captained by Howard Bogan, Jr. They were located in Wilmington Canyon when he caught the tilefish with a Shimano Terez rod, a Gamakatsu lure and a Daiwa reel with 100 pound test braided line.

For more information on the Record Fish Program, visit

Driver Flees Scene Of 3 Vehicle Crash In Manchester

September 16, 2021

MANCHESTER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Monday, September 14, 2021, at approximately 11:08 pm, officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the intersection of County Route 571 and Lockhart Street to investigate a motor vehicle accident involving three motor vehicles, two of which impacted a residence.

Upon arrival, officers observed a 2005 Toyota Tacoma, on the front lawn of 1764 Lockhart Street with extensive front end and rear end damage. A 2010 Honda CR-V into the garage and residence of 1764 Lockhart Street with extensive rear end damage and located approximately 600 feet from the intersection of County Route 571 and Lockhart Street they observed a 2021 Hyundai Elantra facing southbound on the northbound grass shoulder of County Route 571 (extensive front end damage). Witnesses on scene stated that the 2021 Hyundai Elantra was traveling south on County Route 571 at a high rate of speed and was weaving in and out of traffic. The 2005 Toyota Tacoma was traveling south on County Route 571 in the right travel lane. The 2021 Hyundai Elantra attempted to make a lane change into the right lane when it impacted the rear of the 2005 Toyota Tacoma. The impact from the collision caused the 2005 Toyota Tacoma to run off the road and enter onto the property of 1764 Lockhart Street. As the 2005 Toyota Tacoma entered onto the property of 1764 Lockhart Street, it impacted the rear of the 2010 Honda CR-V which was parked in the driveway of 1764 Lockhart Street. The impact caused the 2010 Honda CR-V to lurch forward striking the residence and garage. After impacting the 2010 Honda CR-V, the 2005 Toyota Tacoma struck a shed that was located on the property. The 2021 Hyundai Elantra continued to travel south on County Route 571 crossing over the fog line and centerline of County Route 571 several times before coming to a stop on the northbound grass shoulder of County Route 571.

Further investigation into the accident revealed that the driver of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, fled the scene on foot prior to police arrival. The driver of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra was later identified as, 29 year old, Alexis Connotillo of Manchester, NJ. The driver of the 2005 Toyota Tacoma, identified as 70 year old, Dominic Frizino of Manchester, NJ, was found to be uninjured at the time of the accident. The 2010 Honda CR-V was unoccupied at the time of the accident. The residence of 1764 Lockhart Street was examined by the Manchester Township Building Inspector and was deemed safe for the residents to remain in the household.

Assisting at the scene were EMTs from the Manchester Township Division of Emergency Services, firefighters from Manchester Volunteer Fire Company and Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company, Ocean County Sheriff Departments K-9 Unit, the Manchester Township Police Department Drone Unit, and the Manchester Township Building Inspector. The investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but at this point, the contributing factors of the accident are, unsafe speed, improper lane change and following too closely. This crash is being investigated by Patrolman Conner Yatauro of the Manchester Township Traffic Safety Section.

22 Year Old Chesterfield Man Arrested On Criminal Sexual Contact In Hamilton Twp. Veteran’s Park Incident

September 15, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On September 15, 2021, at approximately 08:00 AM, Hamilton Police were detailed to 2206 Kuser Road  (Veterans Park -South Entrance) on a Criminal Sexual Contact incident.  Responding officers were advised by a female that she was running in the park and a black male suspect approached her from behind near the skate park and groped her thigh and buttocks area.    

Hamilton Police Detective Thomas Clugsten developed a suspect identified as 22 year old Chesterfield NJ resident (formerly of Long Island NY), Malcolm J. Lingard. Information developed from this investigation led to the arrest of Mr. Lingard for Criminal Sexual Contact regarding this incident.

Anyone with information regarding this incident, or is aware of any similar incidents involving Malcolm J. Lingard, is asked to contact Hamilton Police Detective Thomas Clugsten at (609) 581-4027 or via email at . The public can also contact the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until being found guilty in a court of law.

Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office “Surf” The Facility Dog Is On The Job

September 15, 2021

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The newest member of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office brings years of rigorous training, a relentlessly affable attitude, and an unwavering commitment to service to his role; today is his first day on the job, having been assigned to the Monmouth County Child Advocacy Center.

He’s also 4 years old, and covered in fur.

“Surf” the facility dog, a yellow Labrador retriever, will meet with young victims of abuse from across the county at the Child Advocacy Center two days per week, as the centerpiece of a newly implemented therapy initiative shown to lessen victim anxiety and improve outcomes of investigations into such crimes.

“Our Child Advocacy Center is meant by design to offer a warm, welcoming environment for our very most vulnerable crime victims as they recuperate, and Surf’s arrival here brings that to another level entirely,” Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have him join us.”

Surf’s arrival was more than two years in the making, made possible in great part by someone who has been working at the Child Advocacy Center long before that. Melissa Boege, Program Director of the Family Growth Program of Monmouth & Ocean Counties for Catholic Charities, has provided therapy to children, teens, and adults there since 2014 – and in 2019, the California-based nonprofit group Canine Companions placed Surf with her permanently.

“The children I work with have expressed ongoing enthusiasm about working with a facility dog, and have talked extensively about how the dog will help them feel better, talk about difficult things, and feel comfortable in therapy,” Boege said. “It’s incredible to witness – children who were previously shy,  anxious, disengaged, and defiant become interested, engaged, enthusiastic, open, and connected.”

Surf and Boege started working together with clients at the Family Growth Program’s Red Bank location just a matter of months after his arrival in New Jersey, and that same autumn they started visiting public and private schools across Monmouth County to present “Safety Steps,” a series of abuse-prevention workshops.

So his newest assignment won’t be his first rodeo.  

“Surf has the ideal temperament to perform this unique brand of work – he’s naturally calm, nurturing, and reassuring, while also responding enthusiastically to children and adults who prompt him to show a more playful side,” Child Advocacy Center Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Coordinator Debbie Riveros said. “He fits in perfectly with our Team.”

Facility dogs fall under a definition that sets them apart from service dogs or therapy dogs, according to Canine Companions – to be designated as such, the dogs are expertly trained from birth, trustworthy in professional environments, and able to perform more than 40 commands. To be designated as a “facilitator,” as Boege is, one must be solely responsible for handling and caring for a facility dog, and also committed to long-term employment at a specific location for a minimum of 20 hours per week.

There are a limited number of facility dogs already serving at some of the more than 900 child advocacy centers nationwide, which serve more than 338,000 children annually, according to the Washington, D.C.-based National Children’s Alliance, the primary professional organization dedicated to supporting the model. But that number is growing, with studies showing that use of facility dogs during therapy sessions drastically reduces anxiety among child abuse victims, drastically increasing the likelihood of disclosure.

Surf’s first day of work may be today, but truthfully, he’s already a bit of a celebrity – the Child Advocacy Center has calendars, pamphlets, and even stress balls all made in his likeness. To follow his work and what he’s up to, connect with him on Facebook at Facility Dog Surf, or on Instagram at @facilitydog_surf.

Multi Vehicle Crash Causes Traffic Delays In Lawrence Township

September 15, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—Around 7:40 a.m. a multiple vehicle accident occurred on I-295 (near the Young’s Road-Lawrence Station Road Overpass) around the 66.6 North Bound mile marker. There were reports of multiple vehicles involved and initial reports said up to 11 vehicles were involved. Luckily there were no reported serious injuries that needed immediate transportation to the hospital. Traffic was backed up for miles until the vehicles were cleared from the scene.

No further information is available at this time.

Update: Robbinsville WaWa Grand Opening Rescheduled for Mid-October, Includes WaWa’s 40th Anniversary Of Supported Employment

September 15, 2021 — Update the Grand Opening is in the process of being rescheduled to Mid-October

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville’s long awaited WaWa will have a grand opening sometime in Mid-October. (Once we receive the update we will let you know)

The event will be much more than a grand opening — It’s a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Ari Shiner, Wawa’s First Supported Employment Associate from 1981! 

With the help of Eden Autism Services and other supported employment agencies, Wawa has provided hundreds of employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities for the past 40 years. It all started with Ari, the Eden participant who is still working at Wawa today.

Eden Autism, would also like to take this opportunity to highlight our wonderful partnership with Robbinsville. From Eden’s residences in town to the new Project Freedom development, Robbinsville has been a champion for individuals with disabilities, and we’d like to  celebrate Robbinsville’s commitment to helping improve the lives of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. 

Demolition Of Old National Pools Building Making Way For New WaWa

Toms River Man Pleads Guilty To Vehicular Homicide

September 15, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on September 15, 2021, Roberto Sandoval-Guerrero, 38, of Toms River, pled guilty to Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5b(1), before the Honorable Rochelle Gizinski, J.S.C., relative to the death of Daniel Cintron on September 5, 2020.  At the time of his sentencing on November 19, 2021, the State will recommend a term of seven years New Jersey State Prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.  Sandoval-Guerrero also pled guilty to Driving While Intoxicated in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.

On September 5, 2020, the New Jersey State Police received a report of a pedestrian having been struck by a motor vehicle in the area of Garden State Parkway South at or near mile-marker post 86 in Toms River, with said vehicle then fleeing the scene.  The investigation determined that Daniel Cintron had previously been involved in a minor motor vehicle accident with another driver, Frank Puglisi.  The men exited their vehicles and were in the process of exchanging insurance information on the shoulder of the Parkway when they were struck by a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer operated by Sandoval-Guerrero.  Mr. Puglisi was struck on his left arm, while Mr. Cintron was thrown into the lanes of travel where he was run over by passing traffic.  Mr. Cintron was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Further investigation revealed that Sandoval-Guerrero continued to operate the vehicle southbound on the Garden State Parkway; he ultimately abandoned the vehicle on the shoulder and fled on foot.  Sandoval-Guerrero was eventually located in the area of Route 9 and Church Road and taken into custody.  Sandoval-Guerrero has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Leimbach who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, New Jersey State Police, Toms River Township Police Department, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation, ultimately resulting in Sandoval-Guerrero’s guilty plea, and soon his state prison sentence.

Mayor Gusciora Condemns Proposed Ordinance to Move HED Redevelopment Oversight to City Council

Ordinance 21-023 to be introduced at Sept. 14, 2021 City Council Meeting

September 14, 2021

Press release from Mayor W. Reed Gusciora’s Office:

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today issued a statement condemning proposed City Council Ordinance 21-023, which rewrites entire sections of municipal code governing the Department of Housing and Economic Development, including having the Director report only to City Council on all redevelopment matters:

“There is no way that the founders of our municipal form of government would envision a part-time city council as the sole redevelopment authority in a city like Trenton. Given that Council already has the power to evaluate, approve or disapprove pending redevelopment projects, this ordinance seems to be nothing more than a shameless power grab that will serve only to delay more than a hundred million dollars of badly needed redevelopment that is in the pipeline right now.

Both the executive and legislative branches are elected to work together for our residents. Even with the conflict that often defines this era of local Trenton politics, my office, working with City Council, has made tremendous progress pushing redevelopment forward. In just the last year, we celebrated the Van Sciver, Jennings Village, and Vessel redevelopment projects, which collectively will turn multiple vacant lots into hundreds of affordable and market rate housing units. We even came together on a UEZ loan for Princeton Hydro, sold city property to help TerraCycle expand, and put forward a cannabis ordinance that will bring numerous redevelopment opportunities to the Capital City, including the downtown district. This is just a sample of what we can achieve when we work together.

How, then, would the city be better served by cutting my Administration out of this effort? Is a Council working on a part-time basis somehow better equipped to oversee redevelopment all on its own?

If anything, Council has already given us plenty of reasons to be concerned about them wielding total oversight over redevelopment. Several Council members wouldn’t even consider our plan to purchase and redevelop the still-vacant Westside Plaza as an alternative to the awful 2009 leasing agreement that costs the city $42,000 a month with no benefit to area residents. I’m still stunned that they entertained a proposal to buy the beloved Roebling Wire Works building for a mere $200,000 during a secret executive session that was closed off to the public. Lastly, Roebling Block 2, which would now be a bustling commercial district employing Trenton residents, remains a desolate fire hazard after Council torched the common-sense Princetel redevelopment plan two years ago.

Looking back at these projects, it’s clear that continued cooperation between my office and City Council is the only way forward. As such, I encourage City Council and our residents to reject this divisive and utterly counterproductive ordinance.”

Tractor Trailer Takes Out Guardrail On NJ Turnpike Near Exit 7A; Backs Up North Bound Traffic For Miles

September 4, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Sometime before 4:00 p.m. a tractor trailer took out the north bound guardrail divider between the inner and outer roadway of the New Jersey Turnpike north of Exit 7A. The accident backed up traffic for over three miles at times until Haines Towing from Bordentown, NJ could remove the vehicle off the guardrail. The NJ Turnpike shut down a lane after the truck was removed to make emergency repairs.