Day: September 17, 2020

South Brunswick Police Investigating Odd Crime Of Stealing Flowers From Front Lawns

Update related story here: Arrests Made In High School Damage, Stolen Lawn Items In South Brunswick

September 17, 2020

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The South Brunswick Police Department is investigating cases of stolen flowers from front lawns within the township. A Ring camera video was provided and if your recognize the person in the video contact South Brunswick Police Department.

State Police Seeking Public’s Assistance with Identifying Two Men Wanted for Assault

September 17, 2020

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The New Jersey State Police is seeking the public’s assistance with identifying two men who physically assaulted a man during a road rage incident on the New Jersey Turnpike.

On Saturday, August 15, at approximately 6:30 p.m., the victim and the suspects were allegedly involved in a road rage incident and pulled over on the shoulder of the New Jersey Turnpike northbound on the inner roadway at milepost 82.0, East Brunswick Township, Middlesex County.

The two men pictured below exited their vehicle and approached the victim before striking him in the face with an unknown object. The suspects then fled the scene in a black Mercedes Benz SUV with an unknown New York license plate. The suspects are described as Hispanic males.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Jersey State Police Cranbury Station Criminal Investigation Office at 609-860-9000 ext. 4424.

Anonymous tips are welcome.

Governor Murphy Signs Legislation Designating the Howell House as the Official New Jersey Harriet Tubman Museum

September 17, 2020

CAPE MAY, NJ (CAPE MAY)–Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation (A3201), which designates the Howell House on Lafayette Street in Cape May, New Jersey as the official New Jersey Harriet Tubman Museum. The Governor participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony today for the museum. The Howell House is owned by the Macedonia Baptist Church. In 2018, the church gave Robert, Zach, and Cynthia Mullock permission to renovate the house into a museum honoring Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman has a special connection to Cape May, having spent a significant amount of time during the 1850s in the area, gathering funds to support her work through the Underground Railroad. The museum will inform current and future generations of the great sacrifices and efforts that Tubman made on her mission to save enslaved African-Americans and bring them to the free North.  The museum opened virtually on June 19, 2020, a date recognized as “Juneteenth” and recently designated an official State holiday in New Jersey.

“It gives me great pride in announcing that the Howell House in Cape May is now the official Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey,” said Governor Murphy. “Harriett Tubman’s extraordinary efforts helped establish and run the Underground Railroad, and her fearless actions during her lifetime led to the freedom of many. I am proud of the role that New Jersey and Cape May were able to play in her mission to free Black men, women, and children from slavery. This is just one small step in acknowledging the plight and struggle of the Black community, and we will continue to recognize and fight against all forms of racism.”

“Harriet Tubman was arguably the most well-known activist and abolitionist in US history. Her intellect, determination and iron will saved the lives of many enslaved Americans. She is our North Star. When we fight for equality, we think of her name,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “This museum, which is dedicated to her legacy, will now officially ensure that her name will forever be revered and honored in New Jersey history.”

“Our work here in Cape May for the last two years has been dedicated to preserving and creating a space worthy of magnifying Harriet Tubman’s life, and the life of so many luminaries who worked with her or followed in her footsteps in the struggle for racial and social justice.” said Cynthia Mullock, Executive Director of the Harriet Tubman Museum. “Among our many supporters was the Murphy administration. In particular, we want to thank Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, Secretary of State Tahesha Way, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the New Jersey State Historical Commission, and the grant programs through the Cape May County Department of Tourism, as well as the State’s neighborhood preservation program.

Primary sponsors of A3201 include Assemblymembers Carol A. Murphy, Gordon M. Johnson, and Antwan L. McClellan, and Senators Ronald L. Rice, Michael L. Testa, and Shirley K. Turner.

“Harriet Tubman was a hero who not only freed herself, but returned to the South over a dozen times to lead at least 70 other slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Despite personal health problems and the threat of enslavement or death if caught, she courageously risked her own life in order to rescue others from slavery,” said Assemblywoman Carol Murphy and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson in a joint statement. “It is a source of pride for our state that such an inspirational figure spent time in Cape May, earning money to support her Underground Railroad operations. Cape May is further connected to these historical efforts with countless escaped slaves having passed through the town on their way to freedom and the area having served as a center of abolitionist activity. This museum will honor her legacy and recognize our state’s connection to an important movement, while simultaneously preserving this historic building. It’s only fitting that we recognize Howell House as the official New Jersey Harriet Tubman Museum.”

“I am excited and proud that Harriet Tubman is being honored and that there is a dedicated place here in New Jersey where people can go to learn more about this extraordinary woman who truly is an American hero”, said Assemblyman Antwan McClellan. “The more we learn about the Underground Railroad and the dangers faced, the more we understand the heroic, brave actions of the men and women who worked to abolish slavery.”

“Harriet Tubman was fiercely committed to equality for all people, black or white, male or female,” said Senator Michael Testa. “Through her tireless persistence, this determined woman helped bring about two historic society advancements that changed American society forever – she personally helped lead dozens of southern slaves to freedom in the north, and she was instrumental in the women’s suffrage movement.”

“Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist, a hero and a conductor of the Underground Railroad that ran through New Jersey. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this recognition. Ever since they began renovating the Howell House, there has been mounting excitement around the new museum, even being highlighted as one of the most anticipated museum openings of 2020 by the Smithsonian Magazine,” said Senator Shirley Turner. “On the date of their opening, the formal designation is a small token of our gratitude for the work their team has done to memorialize Harriet’s time in New Jersey, and educate us on its significance.” 

Trenton Health Director to Step Down in October

Former Health Director Appointed in Interim Pending National Search for Replacement

September 17, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that Director Shakira Abdul-Ali of the Trenton Health and Human Services Department will be stepping down from her role effective Oct. 2, 2020 to pursue other professional opportunities.

James Anthony Brownlee, who previously served as the Trenton Director of Health and Human Services until he retired from the position in July 2018, will reassume that role pending the conclusion of a national search for a permanent replacement.

Director Abdul-Ali has served Trenton since July 2018. During that time, she has led the Gusciora Administration’s efforts to combat youth homelessness, address the need for expanded health services in the Trenton schools, and launch the “Resilient Trenton!” campaign with 22 partner agencies to transform Trenton into a trauma-informed city by 2024.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Director Abdul-Ali worked with the city’s healthcare community to help secure resources for homeless patients, provide information to the public regarding safety practices, and issue warnings for restaurants and public gatherings not complying with social distancing regulations.

“Director Abdul-Ali has been a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable members of our community who struggle with poverty, healthcare, addiction, homelessness, and trauma from violence,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We wish her the very best in her future pursuits. With his depth of experience, I’m confident that Acting Director Brownlee will effectively manage the city’s healthcare efforts while we find a permanent replacement.”

“Serving the City of Trenton and its people as the Director of Health and Human Services has been a tremendous honor,” said Director Abdul-Ali. “I’m proud of what this administration has achieved in the last two years and I’m thankful to have worked with a wonderful staff and countless community groups and advocates who fight for Trenton every day.”

Acting Director Brownlee has more than 30 years in public health management, including serving under both Mayor Tony Mack and Mayor Eric Jackson, and as an Assistant Commissioner at the N.J. Department of Health and Senior Services.

Lawrence Township Police Officer Charged in Internal Affairs Investigation

Updated MidJersey.News story here: Lawrence Township Police Officer Indicted for Official Misconduct

September 17, 2020

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported today that a Lawrence Township police officer has been charged with disorderly persons offenses as a result of an internal affairs investigation.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the Lawrence Township police discovered the falsification of records during an unrelated criminal investigation in August 2020. 

The internal affairs investigation revealed that Officer Andres Mejia submitted an official arrest report to his superior officers at the Lawrence Township Police Department on August 16, knowing that it contained false and misleading information regarding a fictitious witness in an incident that he had responded to in his official capacity as a law enforcement officer. 

As a result of the investigation, Mejia, 42, was charged with unsworn falsification and tampering with records, both disorderly persons offenses.  He was served with the summons complaint this morning.

Mejia has been suspended from the police department without pay.

Man Killed In Crash, Police Seek Hit And Run Driver Possibly From Trenton, NJ

September 17, 2020

FALLS TOWNSHIP, PA–Falls Township Police are looking for a hit and run driver possibly from Trenton, NJ see below:

LATEST UPDATE:   The victim may have been riding a bicycle at the time he was struck.  

We ask anyone who may have any information, please submit a tip or contact Det. Dennis O’Connell. On September 17, 2020 at 0111 hours Falls Township Police Department (FTPD) Officers were dispatched to U.S. Route #1 Northbound in the area of the Fairless Hills Exit for a report of a struck pedestrian. Responding officers found a 34 year old man deceased at the scene and determined that the striking vehicle had fled, said Falls Township Police Chief Nelson Whitney. Officers located the striking vehicle further down the highway (on the other side of the Fairless Hills Exit) unoccupied. K9 teams searched the area with no success in locating the driver. It is believed that the driver was picked up by another vehicle.

The highway remained closed for the investigation until approximately 0445 hours. The striking vehicle was a 2006 BMW sedan, black in color with NJ registration R54 EVK.

The vehicle is registered to Tierra Barber from Beakes Street in Trenton, NJ. Officers went to Barber’s home after the crash but were unable to contact anyone there.

The victim is from out of state and efforts are currently underway to locate and notify his family. Chief Whitney thanked the Morrisville Borough Police Department and PENNDOT for their assistance in this incident.

For further updates on this investigation, follow the FTPD Twitter feed @FallsTwpPolice. Anyone wishing to provide information about this case should contact Detective Dennis Oconnell at (215) 949- 9100 X416 or, you may also submit a tip below.