Month: December 2020

Monroe Township Mourns Passing Of Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro

December 31, 2020

MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of the honorable Mayor, Gerald W. Tamburro.  Mayor Tamburro passed away surrounded by his family.    

Always service-oriented and loyal to his community, Tamburro was elected as second-ward councilman in November 2001. He went on to serve as Township Council President for eight years before being elected Mayor in 2015.  He was a tireless and passionate advocate for Monroe Township residents and served the township with love and pride.    

A National Guard veteran, Mayor Tamburro valued and honored all veterans and made it a point to personally meet each Monroe veteran when possible.     

In both his public and private life, he was an extraordinary family-man, mentor and leader. Monroe Township administration and all staff members express their deepest condolences to the Tamburro family.  

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Demarco Funeral Home please visit https://demarcofuneralhome.com/tribute/details/4490/Gerald-Tamburro/obituary.html#tribute-start for information on COVID-safe drive through visitation.  Township flags will be flown at half-staff for seven days to honor Mayor Tamburro and his decades of service. 

Rest in peace, Mayor.  You will be missed.

State Law provides that the current Council President, Miriam Cohen, assumes the role of Acting Mayor during the process of filling the vacancy in the office of the Mayor.  Over the course of the next 30 days the Township Council will complete the process of appointing an interim Mayor to serve until a special election to be held in November of 2021.


Statement by Governor Murphy on the Passing of Monroe Mayor Gerald Tamburro

“Mayor Gerald Tamburro was an example of the right person going into public service for the right reasons. Instead of spending his retirement from the private sector in quiet pursuits, Jerry dedicated his last two decades to the people of Monroe, his adopted hometown, which responded by electing him to township council and twice as their mayor.

Jerry’s legacy of service will be his tireless work to protect Monroe’s taxpayers and their quality of life, and the pride he took in never having let a developer pull a fast one against the township.

More than anything, however, Jerry was a friend to many and a loving family man. He lost his wife of 60 years, Carole, last year and I take some solace in knowing he and Carole are now reunited. He was a good and unwavering personal friend, even in those early days when he didn’t have to be, and his support was always truly meaningful. Tammy and I send our most heartfelt condolences to his and Carole’s six children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”


Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro

Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro was elected in November 2015 and sworn-in as the Township’s new Mayor on January 1, 2016 for a term of four years. Tamburro resides in Greenbriar at Whittingham with his wife Carole with whom he shares six children and nine grandchildren.

A retired banker, he served as vice president of commercial lending for the National State Bank of Elizabeth and as president of a community bank in New Jersey. Tamburro earned his bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University and is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.

Prior to taking on the duties of Mayor, Tamburro had been elected in November 2001 as the second ward Council representative, serving as council president for eight years.  He is currently a member of the Monroe Township Planning Board and previously served as chairman of the Affordable Housing Board, chairman of the Master Plan Review Committee, Council representative to the Americans with Disabilities Act Committee, vice chairman of the Middlesex County Planning Board and a member New Jersey Training School Citizens Review Committee.

Three Men Arrested For Narcotics And Weapons Offences In Lakehurst

December 31, 2020

LAKEHURST, NJ (0CEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Lakehurst Police Department, and Manchester Township Police Department Narcotics Enforcement Team conducted a collaborative investigation into the distribution of heroin and cocaine in the Ocean County area.  This cooperative, multi-agency investigation ultimately identified a room at the Travel Inn and Suites in Lakehurst, New Jersey, as being utilized by three individuals to store and distribute quantities of heroin and cocaine.

On December 29, 2020, Detectives observed the subject individuals exit the motel room in question and enter a vehicle.  A motor vehicle stop was conducted by the Lakehurst Police Department, and all three individuals were placed under arrest for possessing quantities of heroin and cocaine.  Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Manchester Township Police Narcotics Enforcement Team, and Lakehurst Police Department executed a court-authorized search warrant on the motel room.  As a result, Detectives seized approximately five bricks of heroin, a small quantity of marijuana, and a large 9mm capacity 50 round drum style magazine with hollow point bullets.  Arrested were:





Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Lakehurst Police Department Detective Bureau, Lakehurst Police Department Patrol Division, Manchester Township Police Department Narcotics Enforcement Team, and Manchester Township Police Department K-9 Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.

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.

MidJersey.News 2020 Year In Review

December 31, 2020

A small sampling of the 1,705 articles and posts in 2020 by MidJersey.news in a review of 2020.

Photos and stories by: Dennis Symons, Publisher, Tyler Eckel, Editor, and Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

January 1, 2020

Hamilton Inauguration Ceremony for Mayor Jeffrey Martin and Council Members Nancy Phillips and Pat Papero, Jr.


3+ Alarm Mansion Fire In Millstone Township


Febuary 1, 2020

Mercer Generating Station Implosion


February 2, 2020

Hamilton Township Fire Department Change of Command Ceremony

Fire Chief Mark Antozzeski (Fire District 9) retired on January 31, 2020. Fire Captain Arron Heller was promoted to Fire Chief


March 17, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic most St. Patrick’s Day Parades were canceled. A few gathered on the steps of Hamilton Township Station 17 to play a couple of numbers socially distanced.

Lia Fail Pipes and Drums of Mercer County, St. Patrick’s Day 2020 Performance


March 30, 2020

USNS Comfort, Arrives In New York City


April 23, 2020

“Echoing Our Appreciation” to Healthcare Workers & The Front Porch Project


April 28, 2020

Thunderbirds and Blue Angels Fly Over In “Operation America Strong”


April 28, 2020

Windsor School Serving Robbinsville For Generations Demolished Making Way For Housing And A Park


May 17, 2020

Dennis Symons Jr., CPP., M. Photog., (PPA Certified Professional Photographer and Master Photographer) reviewed how angles and lens techniques were used to distort overcrowding stories used nationally.

“Fake News” Or Real Overcrowding Photos, Were Lenses And Techniques Used To Distort The Story? You Decide


May 22, 2020

Veterans saved the tradition organizing flags to be placed at BG Doyle Veterans Cemetery the event was originally canceled by Governor Murphy’s lock down orders but veterans groups saved the tradition.

Veterans Save A Time Honored Tradition For Memorial Day, American Flags Are Posted At BG Doyle Veterans Cemetery


May 22, 2020

Trenton Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association FMBA Locals 6 & 206 Food-A-Thon to help Residents and City Workers


May 25, 2020

1,000+ Turn Out To Open NJ Rally In Point Pleasant

A little over a 1,000 people turned out at a rally in Point Pleasant, NJ to protest Governor Murphy’s lock down orders.


May 31, 2020

MidJersey.news was in Trenton covering the Black Lives Matter protest at the State House and was also there when the protest turned violent around dark with looting, burning and violence in the City of Trenton.

BREAKING: Chaos In the City; Peaceful “Black Lives Matter” Protest Turns Violent After Dark

Trenton Burns As Rioters Torch Cars, Loot Stores And Clash With Police After “Peaceful Protest” Goes Violent At Dusk



June 7, 2020

MidJersey.news reported that an tragic early morning accident involving a horse transport truck ran off the roadway and caught fire killing 10 horses en route from Florida to NY on the NJ Turnpike. This unfortunate National story was also picked up by the NY Times and NY Post and shared Internationally.

BREAKING: Turnpike Horror, 10 Horses Died In Horse Trailer Fire, 1 Person Inhalation Burns, 1 Other Injured


June 22, 2020

A New Jersey State Trooper is lucky to be alive after a dump truck crashed a traffic scene on the NJ Turnpike, hit is police vehicle and a Porsche. The trooper, driver of the dump truck, and the driver of a Porsche all sustained moderate injuries and were transported to an area hospital. There were no other occupants in the three vehicles. The inner roadway was closed for approximately six hours.

SLOW DOWN MOVE OVER!!! It’s The Law!!!

BREAKING: NJ State Police Vehicle Destroyed By Dump Truck On NJ Turnpike


June 27, 2020

Rainbow ‘Trenton Makes’ Bridge for Pride Month

The Trenton Makes Bridge was lit in rainbow colors for Pride Month, many Pride events were canceled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.


July 4, 2020

Salute To The Great Cities Of The American Revolution As Seen In Transit Though Mercer County


July 7, 2020

NJ Motor Vehicle Commission melts down with backlogs and long lines after being closed for COVID-19 for so long and many people needing to process documents in person.

NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Reopened causing large lines for people trying to process documents.

NJ MVC FAILURE: 1,000s Wait In Extreme Long Lines At NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Buildings, Complete Chaos as Fights Reported In Trenton and Edison

NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Disaster Day 2 After Reopening


August 18, 2020

MidJersey.news broke the story ahead of other media outlets about the ATM Santander Scam in the area.

BREAKING: Police and FBI Investigating Multi-State ATM Robberies, Many Subjects Are In Custody More Actively Being Arrested


September 6, 2020 and September 11, 2020

On September 6, 2020 MidJersey.news reported that the NJ Turnpike Authority removed American Flags on bridges and installed metal signs stating “Placement of signage or items of any nature on this structure is strictly prohibited.”  A peaceful protest was held in Sewaren, Woodbridge Township, NJ protesting the removal of American Flags from bridges on the New Jersey Turnpike.Governor Murphy directed the Turnpike Authority to stop removing the flags and the Robbinsville Police PBA #344 rehung the flags on area bridges on September 11, 2020

NJ Turnpike Authority Removes American Flags From Bridges, Flags Have Been In Place 19 Years Since Terrorist Attacks On The United States, September 11, 2001

American Flags Replaced On NJ Turnpike Overpasses In Robbinsville By Police Union



October 9, 2020

MidJersey.News publisher documents trip to NJMVC to renew a commercial drivers license that can only be done by an in person transaction.

Long Lines Continue To Plague NJ MVC Offices, And My MVC Experience Today


October 13, 2020

All 9 Hamilton Township Fire Districts were dissolved and consolidated under Hamilton Township and as of January 1, 2021 the departments will be administered by Hamilton Township. The department will be known as the Division of Fire, Hamilton Township, more commonly known as the Hamilton Township Fire Department.

Mayor Martin Signs Ordinances and Memorandum of Agreements to Consolidate the Hamilton Township Fire Division


October 20, 2020

Two children were murdered in ongoing violence in the City of Trenton. As of December 31, 2020 at the time of this report there have been an all time high of 40 murders in Trenton in 2020.

BREAKING: Two Trenton Children 8 yr. and 16 yr., Murdered As Suspect(s) Open Fire On Home


October 31, 2020

President Trump Touches Down At Trenton-Mercer County Airport For Campaign Rally In PA


October 31, 2020

BREAKING: Flash Mob Of +/- 2,000 Dispersed In Robbinsville, Similar Flash Mob Now In Hamilton


December 8, 2020

BREAKING: Trenton’s Homicide Rate Continues to Increase, Now at 40

A little over 3 weeks without a murder in the City of Trenton. As of 12:00 noon December 31, 2020 the number of murders in the City stands at 40 which is an all time high.


December 16 and 17, 2020

How Much Snowfall Did We Get?

Nor’easter Hits Area, Do Not Travel Tonight If Possible

BREAKING: Mercer County Plow Truck Hits Several Vehicles And Comes To Rest In Front Of Home On S. Broad Street


December 21, 2020

RWJ University Hospital Hamilton Administers First COVID-19 Vaccinations This Morning To Healthcare Workers


December 28, 2020

Mercer County Health Officer Association Distribution Of Moderna Vaccine To Health Care Workers

Female Arrested After Failing Field Sobriety Test During Traffic Stop

December 30, 2020

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON (MERCER): Hamilton Police received a call around 10:10pm for a possibly intoxicated driver in a red vehicle with Pennsylvania plates traveling on South Broad Street. The vehicle reportedly struck a traffic light and continued down South Broad Street towards the Whitehorse Circle with a blown out rear passenger side tire.

Hamilton Police intercepted the vehicle on Route 206 just past the Hamilton-Bordentown border and pulled the vehicle over. After conducting a field sobriety test, the driver was placed under arrest for driving under the influence.

**Keep this in mind for the upcoming holiday. Be smart when driving and use this advice previously issued by law enforcement agencies in NJ:

  • Take mass transit, a taxi cab, or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
  • Spend the night where the activity or party is held.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
  • Always buckle up, every ride. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver.
  • If you are intoxicated and traveling on foot, the safest way to get home is to take a taxi cab or have a sober friend or family member drive or escort you to your doorstep.
  • Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.

UPDATE: NJ Turnpike Crash, One Driver Arrested For Suspicion Of DUI And Possession Of Marijuana, 2 Others Extricated Taken To Hospital

December 30, 2020

UPDATE: NJ State Police Sgt. Philip Curry from the NJSP Public Information Bureau told MidJersey.news that the crash scene was still active but was able to give some details. The accident occurred at 5:45pm at MP 57.7 southbound on the outer roadway.  It appears that it was involving three vehicles.  Two occupants from one of the vehicles needed to be extricated and were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. Another driver was arrested for suspicion of DUI and was found to be in possession of marijuana. That is all the information available at this time.


Earlier MidJersey.news story:

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 5:45 pm, the Robbinsville and Bordentown Township Fire Departments, Robbinsville FD EMS, Capital Health Paramedics, and RWJ EMS were dispatched to the NJ Turnpike for a serious crash at 57.7 South Bound. It appears that a tractor-trailer hit two vehicles, entrapping two in one of the vehicles in the outer lanes. Bordentown and Robbinsville firefighters arrived on scene and started extricating the trapped occupants. Mutual aid was called from Hamilton Township Fire Department for additional assistance. Once extricated, Robbinsville FD EMS and RWJ EMS transported the two patients to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. NJ State Police are investigating the crash.


WANTED: Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez, 27, Of Jackson For Charges In Involving Fatal Crash

“Alcazar-Sanchez has not yet been apprehended, and his whereabouts are currently unknown.  A warrant has been issued for his arrest, and his name has been placed in the National Crime Information Center database.  Anyone with information concerning Alcazar-Sanchez’s whereabouts – or any information at all regarding this investigation – is urged to contact Detective Anthony Carrington of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, or Officer Tristan Bennett of the Jackson Township Police Department at 732-928-1111,”



December 30, 2020

JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on December 30, 2020, Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez, 27, of Jackson, was charged with Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1, as well as Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended Driver’s License while being involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:40-22a, relative to a crash which occurred in Jackson Township during the evening hours of December 24, 2020.

On December 24, 2020, at approximately 6:00 p.m., Officers of the Jackson Township Police Department were summoned to the area of Cedar Swap Road and I-195 for a report of a motor vehicle crash with serious injuries. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Jackson Township Police Department revealed that a 2010 Mercedes Benz, driven by Norman Shtab, 83, of Howell Township, was exiting I-195 at Exit 21.  His wife, Phyllis Shtab, 81, also of Howell, was a passenger in the vehicle.  As Mr. Shtab was attempting to make a left-hand turn onto Cedar Swap Road, his vehicle collided with a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado.

The driver of the Chevrolet Silverado subsequently fled the scene on foot.  Further investigation revealed the driver of the Chevrolet Silverado to be Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez.  The passenger in the Silverado, Jose Misael Pementel-Mendoza, 30, of Wrightstown, was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune Township, where he was treated for his injuries and released.

Mr. and Mrs. Shtab were likewise transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center.  Mr. Shtab was treated for his injuries and later released.  On December 26, 2020, Mrs. Shtab succumbed to the injuries she sustained as a result of the crash, and was pronounced deceased at Jersey Shore Medical Center on that date.

“Alcazar-Sanchez has not yet been apprehended, and his whereabouts are currently unknown.  A warrant has been issued for his arrest, and his name has been placed in the National Crime Information Center database.  Anyone with information concerning Alcazar-Sanchez’s whereabouts – or any information at all regarding this investigation – is urged to contact Detective Anthony Carrington of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, or Officer Tristan Bennett of the Jackson Township Police Department at 732-928-1111,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Additionally, during the course of this investigation, Alcazar-Sanchez’s girlfriend, Reyna Mendez, 27, of Jackson, was questioned by law enforcement in connection with this matter.  It was determined that Mendez provided false information to Detectives during the course of her questioning; as a consequence, she has been charged with Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3a(7).  Mendez was charged on a summons and released pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Jackson Township Police Department, Jackson Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Jackson Township Police Department Special Emergency Response Team, Brick Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation.

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.

WANTED:



Police Seeking Information in Hamilton Sex Assault Investigation

December 30, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)—On November 24, 2020, the Hamilton Township Police Division charged a Hamilton man identified as Jonathan Bascio, 30, with multiple accounts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault.  It is alleged that on October 25, 2020, Bascio committed an unlawful act of sexual penetration upon an adult Hamilton woman while she was asleep.  It is further alleged that Bascio committed multiple similar unlawful acts of sexual penetration upon a second adult Hamilton woman over the course of the last year.  

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit recently received information that Bascio may have committed similar unlawful acts on additional victims.  This investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information relevant to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Jonathan White of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at (609) 989-6399 or Hamilton Police Detective Joseph Ialacci at (609) 581-4000.

Despite having been charged, all persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

2 Serious Accidents On NJ Turnpike Just South Of Exit 7A

December 29, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Robbinsville Fire-EMS was detailed to the NJ Turnpike at 12:30 pm for an accident at Mile Marker 59.9 North Bound Outer Lanes just south of interchange 7A. Bordentown Fire and EMS was also detailed, but recalled due to the minor injuries involved. It appeared that a dump truck and a car collided where both went though a guard rail and came to rest in a ditch. Robbinsville Fire Department was also busy with a serious gas leak at the same time, so just the ambulance and Bordentown Township Fire Department responded to the crash.

Then again about 1:45 pm in another emergency call to the NJ Turnpike, this time in front of the Woodrow Wilson Service Area at Mile Marker 58.5 North Bound Outer Roadway. It appeared that a tractor-trailer with a shipping container rear ended a tractor-trailer bulk tank. It was reported the driver was thrown though the windshield and was lying on the roadway right in front of the truck. Since Robbinsville FD was still tied up with the serious gas leak, Bordentown Township Fire Department and Hamilton Township Fire Department responded to the scene. Bordentown EMS, Capital Health Paramedics, and RWJ EMS transported at least one person to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton.

This breaking news report is from radio reports and on scene reporting, once official information is received from the NJ State Police Public Information Bureau the story will be updated and any corrections made.

Accident 1 at mile marker 59.9 North Bound Outer roadway:


Accident 2 at mile marker 58.5 North Bound Outer Roadway in front of the Woodrow Wilson Service Area:

NJ State Police Arrest Five, Seize Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines, Heroin, Cocaine, Ecstasy and Marijuana

Trenton, N.J. – The New Jersey State Police have arrested Bernard Porter, 46, Taevon Williams, 25, Kyet Horton, 42, Demetris Miner, 38, and Brandon Miner, 33, all of Trenton, N.J., for various drug and weapon offenses after a month-long investigation.

In November, detectives with the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit began investigating various crimes in the Trenton area. Through various investigative means, detectives determined that Porter, Williams, Horton, Demetris Miner, and Brandon Miner were distributing drugs from a residence on Hoffman Avenue.

On Thursday, December 24, detectives with the Crime Suppression Central Unit, along with members of the State Police K-9 Unit, Opioid Enforcement Task Force, and Trenton Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence and arrested Porter, Williams, Horton, and Demetris and Brandon Miner. As a result of the search, detectives seized a stolen carbine assault rifle, a 9mm handgun, 3 high-capacity magazines, 14 pounds of marijuana, more than 710 ecstasy pills, 5 bricks of heroin, 5 grams of cocaine, and paraphernalia consistent with the packaging and preparation of drugs.

The suspects were charged with the following:

Bernard Porter
•Unlawful possession of an assault rifle
•Certain persons not to possess weapons
•Possession of firearm during a CDS offense
•Receiving stolen property

Taevon Williams
•Unlawful possession of a handgun
•Certain persons not to possess weapons
•Possession of high-capacity magazines

Kyet Horton
•Unlawful possession of an assault rifle
•Certain persons not to possess a firearm
•Possession of firearm during a CDS offense
•Possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute
•Possession of heroin with intent to distribute
•Possession of cocaine with intent to distribute

Demetris Miner
•Unlawful possession of an assault rifle
•Certain persons not to possess a firearm
•Possession of firearm during a CDS offense
•Possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute
•Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute

Brandon Miner
•Possession of marijuana

All suspects were lodged at the Mercer County Correctional Center pending a detention hearing. The case is being prosecuted by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

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

Isa Court In Sharon Mews Evacuated Due To Gas Main Struck

December 29, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–An electrical contractor working on an electrical service ruptured a 2″ gas line to a residence on Isa Court around 12:30 pm, causing a natural gas leak. Robbinsville Police and Robbinsville Fire Department responded and found a large quantity of gas coming from the contractor’s excavation. Homes were evacuated due to several gas readings in several houses on the street. Police and firefighters notified PSE&G of the seriousness of the gas leak and they responded with a large crew to shut the gas off and make repairs. The PSE&G gas crew wore supplied air lines and flame proof suits to enter the hole to shut the gas off. Robbinsville firefighters stood by wearing air packs until the gas was shut down. PSE&G was able to control the gas leak in about 15 minutes after arrival.

Prior to letting residents back into their homes PSE&G will have to check all the homes to make sure that any gas that did get in dissipated. Electric service was also shut down to several homes on the court until repairs were completed.


Fatal Accident Investigation On Tacony-Palmyra Bridge

December 29, 2020


PALMYRA, NJ (BURLINGTON)–Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Burlington County Bridge Commission Director of Public Safety Patrick J. Reilly, Jr. announced that the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and Burlington County Bridge Commission Police Department are investigating a multi-car collision that occurred on the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge at 6:49 p.m. last night, killing one person. 

The crash occurred when two cars heading westbound towards Philadelphia appeared to be speeding and one car clipped the other sending it into the eastbound lane, where it struck a Honda Civic head-on.  The driver of the Civic was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which ultimately involved five vehicles. 

Five individuals were taken to the hospital with various injuries, none of which appear to be life threatening. The name of the decedent is being withheld pending notification to their family.

The investigation is being led by BCPO Detective Jack Bowker and Det. Sgt. Brian Laudenslager of the Bridge Commission Police Department. Anyone with information pertaining to this crash is asked to call Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7113, or send an email to tips@co.burlington.nj.us.


Overturned Van With Children Trapped In Trenton

Story by: Dennis Symons, Photos by: Tyler Eckel and Brian McCarthy

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 2:30 pm, Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS, Capital Health Paramedics, and Trenton Police responded to the 1200 Block of Genesee Street for an overturned vehicle with children trapped. The children were extricated though the windshield of the vehicle prior to fire department arrival. At least two were transported by Trenton EMS to Capital Health Regional Medical Center. Trenton Police are investigating the crash. No further information is available about the crash.

Mercer County Health Officer Association Distribution Of Moderna Vaccine To Health Care Workers

The first Mercer County COVID-19 vaccine clinic was held in Hamilton today at Station 17

December 28, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township in collaboration with the Mercer County Health Officer Association (MCHOA) held the first COVID-19 vaccine clinic earlier today to Phase 1A healthcare workers.

In order to maximize COVID vaccination efforts, the Mercer County Health Officers Association has joined together to serve all communities within Mercer County throughout the four phases of the COVID-19 vaccination distribution. Under CDC and State health guidelines, the Moderna doses will first be distributed to healthcare workers who qualify under Phase 1A and who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 through their employer or the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care (LTC) Program administered through CVS and Walgreens.

This MCHOA is currently planning a series of COVID-19 vaccination clinics to support ongoing efforts to vaccinate healthcare workers which include emergency medical services. The MCHOA will administer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations at clinics throughout Mercer County municipalities point of dispensing (POD) locations.  The clinics will be held twice a week on a rotating schedule and have the capacity to handle 500 vaccines per week.. The COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be by appointment only and subject to the availability of vaccine doses on hand or accessible within the supply chain.

“Hamilton Township is proud to partner with the Mercer County Health Officer Association in order to ensure that those on the frontlines in our fight against this virus receive the vaccine as quickly as possible,” said Mayor Jeff Martin. “The arrival of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is a continued step forward to provide protection to more of our community’s critical healthcare workforce and eventually the general adult population.”

“Vaccination is a critical component to protecting our residents,” stated Hamilton Township Health Officer Christopher Hellwig. “Working together to safeguard the citizens of Mercer County is exactly what the founding members of the MCHOA had in mind when they formed in 1972. Our vaccination clinics will continue that ideal and work to protect the public’s health particularly those that have been most impacted by COVID-19, while giving us a clear end to this pandemic.”

Local Health Departments are one piece of the puzzle to vaccinate the State goal of 70% of the adult population in 6 months. This collective effort will ensure that our residents are provided with the opportunity to receive their vaccination in a timely manner and in a safe medical setting.  COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be rolled out in phases determined by the State. The Mercer County Health Officers Association collaboration will continue to work closely with federal, state, and local partners.

Beachwood Residents Charged With Narcotics Distribution

December 28, 2020

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced the culmination of a two-month, multi-agency cooperative investigation into illegal drug activity in the Ocean County area.  Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force and the Beachwood Police Department Detective Bureau identified a residence in Beachwood as being utilized to store and distribute quantities of Heroin.

On December 18, 2020, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force along with members of the Beachwood Detective Bureau and Patrol Division executed a search warrant at the Beachwood residence. Just prior to the execution of the search warrant, John Vaughn and Jennifer Vuono left the residence and were subsequently detained. As a result of the investigation and the execution of the search warrant, Detectives seized approximately 48 Bricks or 2,400 dosage units of Heroin, along with approximately $4,000 in cash.

John Vaughn, 47, of Beachwood, was arrested and charged with Possession of Heroin in a quantity of more than One Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe without a Valid Prescription in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-6a.  Jennifer Vuono, 38, of Beachwood, was arrested and charged with Distribution of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of Heroin in a quantity of more than One Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2);two counts of Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe without a Valid Prescription in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-6a.  Both Vaughn and Vuono were transported to the Ocean County Jail and released pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Beachwood Police Department Detective Bureau and Patrol Division and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

2020 South Brunswick Police Awards, Acts of life-saving, bravery, and perseverance recognized.

December 28, 2020

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–This year has been like none before it, but we don’t want to let the outstanding work officers have done go unnoticed. Each May we hold an awards ceremony recognizing the works or bravery and perseverance of officers and citizens. This year that has not been possible, but over the course of the past two weeks, we have given officers awards individually. These awards were submitted to a committee of officers for a determination of their merits. A final report was submitted to the Chief of Police who authorized the awards. Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “These officers’ actions stopped violent criminals, saved lives, and enhanced our community. This has been a difficult year, but reviewing these awards just reinforces what a great department we have. I also want to thank the community members who step up year after year to make our Township great.”  

The 2020 Awards are broken down into 4 categories – Exceptional Service Award, Lifesaving, Community Service / Letter of Commendation, and Civilian Award and recognize efforts during 2019.
 
I. Exceptional Service Award – This award is given out to recognize the outstanding work of officers and detectives to track down suspects, solve cases, and bring justice for victims. It is the highest award given out this year.
Exceptional Service Award – Exploited Victims Investigation

  • Detective Brian Sites

Detective Sites investigated a series of crimes where young women were being exploited and extorted on the internet. Detective Sites conducted a four-month investigation that included the procurement of numerous court orders, the execution of search warrants, seizure of digital evidence, and the examination of thousands of images. He coordinated with the New Jersey State Police Cyber Crime Unit and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to pursue this suspect. His investigation determined the suspect had been victimizing young women for several years. His comprehensive investigation led to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. His work brought closure to the victims and an end to the sexual exploitation.
 
Exceptional Service Award – Dark Web Drug Operation Arrests

  • Lieutenant Jeffrey Russo

Lieutenant Russo conducted a yearlong joint investigation along with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Agency into narcotics trafficking over the “Dark Web.” The joint investigation concluded with the execution of multiple search warrants throughout the state of New Jersey. The investigation resulted in the largest seizure of Xanax in the State. Five subjects were arrested and charged with multiple counts of trafficking narcotics. Lieutenant Russo’s hard work, dedication, and inter-agency coordination led to the successful conclusion of this case.
 
Exceptional Service – Dispute Investigation

  • Officer Michael Urstadt

On June 30th, Officer Urstadt investigated a dispute incident where the actor reported that he was the victim of a stabbing. The actual victim was afraid to call the police because she suffered significant abuse by the male. Officer Urstadt’s investigation determined that the true victim in the assault was the woman and the man had staged the crime scene.  The woman was treated for substantial injuries and the man was arrested. Officer Urstadt’s diligent investigation ensured a strong evidence-based prosecution.
 
Exceptional Service Award – Fatal Hit and Run Arrest

  • Traffic Safety Bureau -Sergeant Gary Holsten, Officer Michael Leung, Officer Jesse Blake, Officer William Merkler

On August 8th the Traffic Safety Bureau responded to a fatal hit and run motor vehicle crash on County Route 535. The investigation was complex, including the processing of three separate crime scenes over a five-mile area, multiple witness interviews, DNA/evidence collection, and multiple search warrants. The investigation resulted in tracking down and arresting the suspect responsible for the death. The investigation demonstrated initiative, skill, and dedication. 
 
Exceptional Service – Handgun Arrest

  • Lieutenant Scott Reeves & Officer Bryan Garrison

On August 13th, Officer Garrison responded to a report of an individual who had brandished a firearm. Officer Garrison quickly located the suspect vehicle and coordinated a high-risk motor vehicle stop with other officers, removing all occupants. Lieutenant Reeves canvassed the route the suspect vehicle had traveled, successfully recovering a loaded firearm with hollow point ammunition. The coordination of efforts led to the arrest of the actor with no injuries to the victims, suspect, bystanders, or officers.
 
Exceptional Service Award – Robbery Arrest

  • Detective Domenick Delucia, Detective Brian Sites

On October 11 and while off duty, Detective Delucia observed a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle involved in a recent gas station armed robbery. Detective Delucia quickly coordinated assistance with other officers and Detective Sites responded. The suspect exited a store and officers approached to speak with him. The suspect fled on foot with detectives in pursuit. The detectives captured the suspect after a half-mile foot chase. The investigation brought an end to a robbery spree that spanned two states and three counties. Detective Delucia and Detective Sites’ awareness and quick actions led to take a dangerous criminal off the streets.
 
Exceptional Service Award – Armed Suspect Arrest

  • Sergeant Richard Hutchison, Officer Gagan Chopra, Officer George Morgan, Officer Jarrid Harpster

On December 22nd, officers responded to a hotel on a report of a wanted man with a stolen shotgun. Officers quickly arrived and officers conducted a systematic search of the five-story hotel.  The team of officers ultimately located the armed suspect behind a banquet table. They were able to take him into custody without any injury to hotel guests, officers, or the suspect. The quick actions of this team neutralized a dangerous situation.
 
II. Life Saving Medal – This award is given to officers whose actions saved the life of a person.
 
Life-Saving Medal

  • Officer George Vit, Officer Joseph Marrero, Officer Joseph Rausch, Officer Jason Stonkus

On September 17th officers responded to a report of an 88-year-old male who was unresponsive. The officers’ quick response and teamwork allowed them to promptly administer CPR and an automated external defibrillator. The man regained a pulse and made a full recovery. Their actions saved his life.
 
 
Life-Saving Medal

  • Officer Jarrid Harpster, Officer Kent English

On December 10th Officer Harpster and Officer English responded to a report of a male that had stabbed himself in the chest multiple times. Officer Harpster determined that the male was suffering from a sucking chest wound. Officer Harpster improvised and utilized a plastic bag with duct tape to create a chest seal to stabilize the victim. Officer Harpster and Officer English continued to provide lifesaving care until the arrival of advanced emergency medical services. Their prompt actions saved the man’s life. 
 
Life-Saving Medal

  • Officer Daniel Rodriguez, Officer Michael Urstadt, Officer Tyler Harpster, Officer Jason Stonkus

On August 1st officers responded to a report of a 49-year-old male who was unresponsive. The officers’ quick response and teamwork allowed them to promptly administer CPR and an automated external defibrillator. The man regained a pulse and made a full recovery. Their actions saved his life.
 
Life-Saving Medal

  • Officer Christopher Magee-Vanderveen, Officer Daniel Rodriguez, Officer Michael Urstadt

On July 22nd, officers responded to a report of a 48-year-old male who was unresponsive. The officers’ quick response and teamwork allowed them to promptly administer CPR and an automated external defibrillator. The man regained a pulse and made a full recovery. Their actions saved his life.
 
 
III. Community Service Award / Letter of Commendation – This award is given to officers who make the actions and efforts to improve the lives of residents and enhance the community.
 
Community Service Award

  • Sergeant Nathan Labuda

Sergeant Nathan Labuda has organized the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run in South Brunswick Township for the last seven years. Sergeant Labuda coordinated fundraising efforts which resulted in substantial donations to the New Jersey Special Olympics. Sergeant Labuda also partnered with the South Brunswick School District to include special needs athletes from three different schools in a portion of the run. Sgt. Labuda’s efforts reflect the best of our department and community partnership.
 
Community Service Award

  • Officer George Morgan

Officer Morgan has become deeply involved with the South Brunswick Community both in an official capacity and as a volunteer for many community events. From his work raising funds for people in need to his coaching young people in basketball, he embodies community engagement.  His efforts have fostered a positive relationship and partnership with the community, juveniles, and numerous other organizations. His efforts reflect well on our department and community.
 
  
Letter of Commendation

  • Public Safety Tele communicator (PST) John Muccioli

On October 11, PST Muccioli exhibited excellent discretion and communication skills in coordinating a rapidly evolving foot pursuit of a robbery suspect. With little warning, detectives broadcasted that they were in a foot pursuit of a robbery suspect. PST Muccioli was able to provide precise and vital information, which greatly aided in the coordination for responding patrol units. His efforts helped lead to the capture of the robbery suspect.
 
Letter of Commendation

  • Detective Timothy Hoover

Beginning in June of 2019, Detective Hoover led an investigation involving the Distribution of CDS. He coordinated efforts with other agencies. The operation was dynamic and Detective Hoover handled all avenues of the investigation with excellence. A large quantity of CDS was taken off the street. The efforts of Det. Hoover showed initiative, professionalism, and quick thinking.
 
Letter of Commendation

  • Officer Brooke Labell

On September 24th, Officer Labell, as a member of the department’s crime scene evidence technician program was assigned to process a burglary scene at a residence. Officer Labell’s detailed crime scene processing led to the recovery of latent fingerprints from the point of entry. The New Jersey State Police lab linked the latent fingerprints to a suspect who was later arrested.
 
Letter of Commendation

  • Officer Matthew Hagood

Officer Hagood responded to a report of a teen being dehydrated and lost in a heavily wooded area. Officer Hagood located the juvenile who was stuck in the mud up to his knees. The juvenile was assisted out of the mud and provided with medical attention. Officer Hagood’s actions led to safely locating the juvenile.
 
 
IV. Civilian Awards – This category represents citizens whose efforts over the past year helped the South Brunswick Police Department.
 
Citizens Appreciation Award

  • Fazil Syed

On February 19th, Mr. Fazil Syed observed a Nixle during the late evening hours alerting his neighborhood about a missing 10-year-old nonverbal autistic child. Mr. Syed immediately left his home and began to search his neighborhood. Mr. Syed quickly located the child and alerted the police. The child had been outside in the cold for several hours. Mr. Syed’s selfless act resulted in the child being safely reunited with his family.
 
Civilian Staff Recognition Award

  • Caryl Greenberg

For over thirteen years, Caryl Greenberg worked hand in hand with the police department in helping members of our community while serving as a social worker. Caryl proved to be an invaluable resource and problem solver for our officers.  The lives she has positively impacted could never be measured. Caryl’s service and leadership have been vital to the success of the South Brunswick Police Department.
 
Chief’s Safety Award

  • Mildred Torres – Domestic Violence Response Team

Mildred Torres is awarded the Chief’s Safety Award for assisting victims of domestic violence in South Brunswick for over ten years. The Domestic Violence Response Team has proven to be an effective tool to support victims in breaking the cycle of domestic violence. Mildred Torres’s service and leadership has been vital to the success of the Domestic Violence Response Team’s partnership with the South Brunswick Police Department.
 
Chief’s Safety Award

  • Christine Caputo-Raddatz

Christine Caputo-Raddatz is awarded the Chief’s Safety Award for protecting the children of South Brunswick Township day in and day out by serving as a crossing guard for over 10 years.
 
Citizens Appreciation Award

  • Francis White and Francis White Jr.

On December 10th, Mr. Francis White and Mr. Francis White Jr. observed a male stabbing himself in the chest with a knife. Both men wrestled the knife away from the male. Mr. White provided live-saving care and directed officers to his location. The efforts of Mr. White and Mr. White Jr saved the man’s life.


 

Driver Fled On Foot After Fatal Jackson Crash And Still On The Run

December 28, 2020

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on December 24, 2020, at approximately 6:00 p.m., the Jackson Township Police Department were summoned to the area of Cedar Swap Road and I-195 for a report of a motor vehicle crash with serious injuries. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and the Jackson Township Police Department revealed that a 2010 Mercedes Benz driven by Norman Shtab, age 83, of Howell Township, was exiting I-195 at Exit 21. As Mr. Schtab was executing a left hand turn on to Cedar Swap Road, his vehicle collided with a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado.

The driver of the Chevrolet Silverado fled on foot.  Further investigation revealed that the driver of the Chevrolet Silverado is believed to be Roberto Alcazar-Sanchez, age 27, of Jackson.  Gerardo Castillo-Mendoza, age 30, of Wrightstown, who was a passenger in the Chevrolet Silverado, was transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center, treated for his injuries and released.

Mr. Schtab and a passenger in his vehicle, his wife, Phyllis Shtab, age 81, of Howell Township were transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune.  Mr. Schtab was treated for his injuries and released.  On December 26, 2020, Mrs. Schtab succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at Jersey Shore Medical Center. 

“We are currently trying to positively identify and locate the driver of the Chevrolet Silverado.  This is an active and ongoing investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Jackson Township Police Department and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit.  If anyone has information regarding this investigation, please contact Detective Anthony Carrington of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027 or Officer Tristan Bennett of the Jackson Township Police Department at 732-928-1111,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.


The Facebook post by a family member of the victim has since been removed from the Internet. The photo is still available below:




Governor Murphy, Commissioner Persichilli Mark Start of COVID-19 Vaccination Effort for Residents and Staff of Long-Term Facilities

291 LTC Facilities Currently Scheduled for Vaccinations — Covering Over 83,000 New Jerseyans 

OLD BRIDGE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)—Governor Phil Murphy, joined by New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli and CVS Health Regional Director Kat Kingston, today visited Roosevelt Care Center in Old Bridge to mark the launch of New Jersey’s vaccination effort of residents and staff of long-term care facilities. The vaccinations are being administered pursuant to the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CVS, and Walgreens to facilitate on-site COVID-19 vaccination services. Through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, New Jersey already has 291 long-term care facilities scheduled and over 83,000 residents and staff slated to receive vaccinations through the beginning of February 2021, with more sites to be added in the coming weeks.

“Long-term care facilities across New Jersey and the entire nation have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Murphy. “Over the past nine months, we have paid an incredible cost, but today is another positive step forward in our fight against this virus. New Jersey’s comprehensive and inclusive vaccination plan prioritizes individuals living in high-risk, congregate settings, such as nursing homes, Veterans Homes, and assisted living residences. We are incredibly grateful to CVS and Walgreens for their work with the Federal Pharmacy Partnership program to ensure that we have the resources to vaccinate and protect our most vulnerable populations.”

“Throughout this pandemic, the residents and staff of our long-term care facilities have been among the most severely impacted,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “With the start of this large-scale vaccination effort today, we are continuing to strengthen protections for our most vulnerable populations, along with the staff who have been truly courageous in caring for them.”

“Today’s rollout is the culmination of months of internal planning and demonstrates how the private sector can use its expertise to help solve some of our most critical challenges,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. “I’m grateful for the herculean efforts of everyone involved, including our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout the country to bring peace of mind to long-term care facility residents, staff, and their loved ones.”

“Walgreens is very proud to be a part of this historic milestone to begin administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to our most vulnerable populations in New Jersey and across the country,” said John Standley, President, Walgreens. “With more than a decade of experience administering various vaccines, we have the deep expertise to support this unprecedented effort to allow our nation to emerge from this pandemic.”

“Today marks an incredibly important day as we work together to protect the health and safety of our most vulnerable residents and frontline workers at New Jersey’s long-term care facilities,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “I applaud Governor Murphy for helping facilitate this federal Pharmacy Partnership with CVS and Walgreens. These vaccination protocols will help ensure we come through this unprecedented public health emergency together and return to living our lives with our families and friends.”

“Our long-term care facilities have suffered unimaginable heartbreak and loss due to COVID-19. I am hopeful that the start of vaccinations for our most vulnerable seniors will also mark the beginning of the end of the public health emergency,” said Senator Sam Thompson. “The long, torturous pandemic has claimed lives, taken jobs, and interrupted daily life in New Jersey, but today we have cause for optimism as we prepare to close the door on 2020.”

“This marks the beginning of a new, important phase of our battle against the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator Joe Vitale. “The distribution of the vaccine is reason for hope and optimism, but the health crisis is far from over. The threat is still very real, especially for the residents and front-line workers in long-term care facilities who are so vulnerable. We have  to make the best use of vaccines as the supply becomes available and we have to continue all the other safety measures as we go through this stage of the Covid crisis.”

  “It is an understatement to say that this has been an incredibly challenging year for all of us in healthcare, on many levels,” said Esther Moodey, Staff Nurse and the first LTC staff recipient of the COVID-19 vaccine in New Jersey. “I am thankful for the COVID-19 vaccine and honored to be the first staff member at our facility receive it, in solidarity with my colleagues in other long term care facilities around New Jersey. The vaccine brings hope and optimism about the future and promise of a return to ‘normal.’”






One Injured In Overturned Vehicle On South Broad Street

December 27, 2020

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 5:20 pm a vehicle traveling north on South Broad Street near Pebble Creek & Lacy Avenue collided with a trailer attached to a pickup truck. The vehicle overturned, trapping the driver inside. Hamilton Township Fire Department, RWJ EMS and Hamilton Police responded to the scene. The trapped driver was was able to self extricate prior to fire department arrival. One person was transported to RWJ at Hamilton Hospital. Hamilton Township Police are investigating. No further information is available at this time.

Police Release Details Of Extensive Investigation After Drug Deal Goes Bad

WEST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–In a detailed press release West Windsor Police stated a 15 year old resident of West Windsor, 17 year old of West Windsor, 17 year Old of Plainboro, and 18 year old of East Windsor were victims in a drug buy gone bad at The Mews at Princeton Junction parking lot near building 7000 on October 3, 2020. The accused were all from Teaneck, NJ and ages 18, 19 and 20 years old. One accused from Teaneck, NJ was left with life threating injuries and has since recovered. The details of the press release are below:

On Saturday October 3, 2020 at 11:38 pm, Patrol Units were detailed to the parking lot near the 7000 & 9000 Buildings at The Mews at Princeton Junction on a report of an unknown disturbance.  No combatants were on scene upon arrival of the Patrol Units, however, there were reports of screaming & fighting, while (2) unknown males loaded up another male into a dark colored vehicle that sped away.  Although no combatants were left at the scene, several large puddles of blood were located near a speed bump in the parking lot and a broken Glock G19 BB Gun.  

     Additional investigation revealed that (3) individuals involved in the incident had responded to the Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center where they were identified as the (3) Subjects above with the assistance of Plainsboro Township Police Department.  Due to a substantial and life threatening (at the time) injury sustained to Subject #1 and with scant details known, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Task Force was requested.  

     An exhaustive investigation led by Detective C. Van Ness of West Windsor Police Department with members of the WWPD Patrol Division & Detective Bureau, Plainsboro Township Police Department, Robbinsville Township Police Department, and the Mercer County Homicide Task Force revealed the following:  Accused #1 and Victim #1 had been negotiating a narcotics transaction for numerous THC Cartridges.  These (2) agreed to meet in the parking lot at The Mews that evening.  The (3) Accused arrived together with Accused #1 as the narcotics deal negotiator, Accused #2 as his immediate backup, and Accused #3 as the wheelman.  Accused #1 entered into a Vehicle, a minivan, operated by Victim #2, and occupied by Victims #1 (seated in the very rear row with the illicit merchandise), #3, &  #4.  Accused #2 stood nearby the victims’ Vehicle while Accused #3 waited in their parked Vehicle.  Negotiations broke down inside the minivan and Accused #1 began punching Victim #1.  Accused #2 attempted to enter the Victims’ Vehicle.  Accused #2 punched Victim #3 (who was attempting to assist Victim #1) thru a lowered passenger side rear window.  Accused #2 tried dragging Victim #2 out of the Vehicle by his arm through an opened rear passenger sliding door.  Accused #2 lost his grasp on Victim #3 and went around to the driver’s side in an attempt to physically remove Victim #4 from the Vehicle by dragging him by his legs.  Victim #3 helped pull Victim #4 back into the Vehicle.  Victim #2 exited the vehicle to confront Accused #2 and was repeatedly pistol whipped in the head with a gun by Accused #2.  Victim #2 re-entered the Vehicle and drove it from the scene in an attempt to end the assault while providing safety for the occupants.  Accused #1 apparently jumped from the Vehicle in an attempt to exit and sustained a severe head injury. 

     Initially, Accused #1’s injury was considered life threatening, however, he has survived the injury from this incident.  Victim #2 received lacerations from the pistol whipping while injuries to all others were considered minor.  It should be noted that the Glock G19 REPLICA BB Gun (Orange Tip Removed) and very closely mimicked a Glock 19 black handgun.  The identities of all are being withheld at this time due to injuries sustained and the involvement of Juveniles.  Accused #1 was Charged with Robbery while Accused #2 was Charged with Robbery, Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes & Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Accused #3 was Charged with Liability for Conduct of Another (Robbery).  

     The Investigation was very extensive after beginning with very little information and such a major injury sustained.  Our Patrol Division and Detective Bureau worked seamlessly together.  Chief Garofalo wanted to personally thank the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Homicide Task Force, the Plainsboro Township PD, and the Robbinsville Township PD for their professionalism & essential assistance.  We could not have completed this intricate & detailed investigation without the help of those agencies, our “central nervous system”, the Communications Center, and “the backbone of any Police Department”, our Patrol Division.  

CHARGES:

1) Aggravated Assault

2) Robbery

3) Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes

4) Unlawful Possession of a Weapon

5) Liability for Conduct of Another (Robbery)

DATE OCCURRED:  October 3, 2020 at 11:38 pm

LOCATION OCCURRED:  The Mews at Princeton Junction parking lot near building 7000

VICTIMS:  1)  18 year old 
                        Resident of East Windsor, NJ 08512
                  2)  17 year old
                        Resident of Plainsboro, NJ 08536
                  3)  17 year old
                        Resident of West Windsor, NJ 08550
                  4)  15 year old
                        Resident of West Windsor, NJ 08550

ACCUSED:  1)  18 year old–Crime #2 ONLY
                          Resident of Teaneck, NJ 07666
                      2) 19 year old–Crimes #2-#4
                           Resident of Teaneck, NJ 07666
                      3)  20 year old–Crime #5 ONLY
                           Resident of Teaneck, NJ 07666

OTHERS INVOLVED:  1)  WWPD Patrol Division
                                      2)  WWPD Detective Bureau
                                      3)  Plainsboro Township PD
                                      4)  Robbinsville Township PD
                                      5)  Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO)
                                      6)  MCPO Homicide Task Force (HTF)


House Fire on Berg Avenue in Hamilton

December 25, 2020

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON (MERCER): Hamilton Fire Departments responded to the 100 block of Berg Avenue around 2:55 pm for a reported fire in the living room.

Fire Departments arrived on scene with smoke showing and the “all hands” was called. Two lines were used to quickly knock down the bulk of the fire.

No injuries were reported.


Strong Storm Moves Though Area Knocking Down Trees And Utility Poles In South Brunswick

7PM UPDATE: ALL ROADS HAVE BEEN REOPENED IN SOUTH BRUNSWICK


December 25, 2020

Before heading out this morning check 511nj.org for the latest traffic delays and closured due to last night’s storm.

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police Department reports: Rt 1 Southbound will be closed for 8 hours or more between Sand Hill Road and Beekman Road.  Rt 1 Northbound between Major Road and Northumberland Way may be closed for up to 24 hours.  PSEG is on scene.  There are numerous poles down. 

Rt 27 in South Brunswick in both directions between Allston Road and New Road will be closed for at least 8 hours. 




Santa’s Christmas Eve Tradition Continues In Allentown

December 24, 2020

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–Not even COVID-19 could stop Santa on his regular Christmas Eve trip around Allentown on a fire truck this year. Now, Santa is getting ready to head out to deliver gifts around the world later tonight.

The Santa visit tradition could be well over 100 years old, as far as any current and retired member with Hope Fire Company can remember. No one knows when exactly the Christmas Eve tradition started. Those have long since retired from their firefighter career remember Santa always being in town the night before Christmas on a fire engine, even when they were children.

As the tradition continues, Santa parks the sleigh behind the firehouse, and while the reindeer get some food and energy for the all night flight, Santa would deliver early gifts to children in Allentown Borough. This year, Dr. Anthony Fauci did give Santa the COVID-19 vaccination at the North Pole, and Governor Murphy did make Santa “essential personnel” earlier today, still Santa was prevented to deliver gifts on the fire truck tonight.

Although early gifts were not allowed this year, Santa still decided to make his rounds on the Hope Fire Company fire engine to say hello from a safe distance. Next year Santa hopes to come back with the normal tradition of going around Allentown on the fire engine handing out gifts.



After No Vote On Efforts To Replace Lead Service Lines Mayor Releases Statement

Mayor says, “Blocking this ordinance is nothing less than gross malfeasance.”

December 23, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora released a statement on three city council members voting no blocking the Lead Service Line Replacement Program. Full statement below:


Other stories on Trenton Water Works:

TWW to Seek City Council Approval for State Funding to Remove More Lead Services From Its Water System

NJDEP Requests NJ Attorney General To File Legal Action Against Trenton For Failure To Comply With Safe Drinking Water Act

Attorney General, DEP File Lawsuit Asking Court to Address Violations at Trenton Water Works that Pose Risks to Public Health

Trenton Water Works Issues 2020 Water Quality Report

Trenton Water Saga Continues: Statement From Mayor Gusciora



Last night, Council President McBride, Councilwoman Vaughn, and Councilman Rodriguez blocked the efforts of Trenton Water Works (TWW) to replace lead service lines throughout our regional service area. TWW has made great strides in its initial phases of lead service line replacement and this $15 million bond ordinance was needed for the third phase scheduled to start later this year. In addition, the third phase would have triggered a program from the N.J. Infrastructure Bank that would have given 50 percent forgiveness on the bonds. The ordinance fell one vote shy of the five needed to pass, which will effectively freeze the service line program for the near future.

The council members who voted against the ordinance have effectively told their constituents as well as customers in other service municipalities that they do not care if lead is removed from their water. The fact remains, TWW is under a Consent Order with the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Trenton faces a lawsuit by NJDEP as well as other service municipalities that TWW is not working fast enough to adhere to environmental standards as well as service line replacement. The three council members who voted against the ordinance have made that worse.

The lack of foresight is staggering. Council’s failure to approve this ordinance jeopardizes our plans to remove all lead services from the TWW system within the next six years. The well-established threat of lead in drinking water did not move the council members who voted against this proposal. Neither did the fact that half of $15 million proposal would have been forgiven under a state grant, which is a tremendous benefit for our city’s strained budget.

So long as homeowners have galvanized lead service lines running to their homes, they could be affected by lead-tainted water. It was time for City Council to take the appropriate action to protect its constituents and TWW service area consumers from these environmental hazards. Blocking this ordinance is nothing less than gross malfeasance.

Council members voting in the affirmative for the bonds were City Council Vice President Marge Caldwell-Wilson and Councilmen Jerell Blakely, Joe Harrison and George Muschal. –Statement from Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora


Serious Accident In Trenton Sends One To Trauma Center

December 23, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 3:05 pm Trenton Fire Department, TEMS, Captial Health Medics, and Trenton Police Department responded to a serious accident on Mulberry Street near St. Joes Avenue. It was reported that a car collided with a utility pole and the person was unconscious and trapped behind the wheel. When fire and EMS arrived the driver was removed from the vehicle and transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. Trenton Police set up detours in the area while PSE&G cut the power to the lines that were down across the roadway. PSE&G had a crew en route to replace the utility pole. Trenton Police investigated the crash. No further information is available.


The David L. Fried Humanitarian Award

December 23, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–On the July morning Brian Lotito slipped the surly bonds of this Earth after his motorcycle collided with another vehicle on Route 130 near Woodside Road, he was at peace.

More importantly for Paula Lotito, her son was not alone.

Thanks to Robbinsville resident Eric Steinberg.

“Eric said he prayed Jewish prayers over him,” Paula said. “He said Brian was peaceful, and he held his hand as he slipped away. Who does that? This was a nightmare for Eric. He saw it. He heard it. But he stayed, and I am forever indebted to him.”

Because of his selfless and compassionate act of human kindness, Eric Steinberg was presented with the first David L. Fried Humanitarian Award on November 28.”

Many of us may ask ourselves what we would do in such a moment, and deep inside our heart of hearts we all hope to do what Eric did for Brian and his family that morning,” Mayor Fried said. “There is no plaque or medal big enough, no amount of words eloquent enough, to honor Eric for his humanitarianism on July 11.”

Brian was a talented musician and vocalist and studied music and performing arts. According to his obituary, he was unique, driven and “an advocate for anyone that could not be one for themselves.

“When the day comes we can gather again at another State of Robbinsville Township Pay it Forward event, Eric Steinberg will be the guest of honor. Paula Lotito and her family will be there, too.”

It could have been anyone. Eric would have done it for anyone,” Paula said, holding back tears. “He would have stayed by their side. That’s just who he is. We are so grateful to Mayor Fried and the Township for creating this award for him. Eric is a man of grace and he will probably be embarrassed by all this, but if this motivates more people to be kind to others then this story needs to be told.”  


Update: NJ Lottery Headquarters Reopens Following COVID-19 Case

December 23, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey Lottery headquarter building reopened Wednesday following a temporary shutdown due to a positive case of Covid-19. The building has been professionally deep cleaned and will remain closed to the public until Monday, December 28.

Wednesday’s mid-day drawings for Pick-3 and Pick-4 will be conducted today at 12:57 p.m. according to regular procedures. The mid-day drawings will be broadcast and livestreamed on the Lottery’s Facebook and Livestream pages. Wednesday’s evening drawings will also return to normal procedures.

An individual employed by a Lottery vendor tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, December 22. The individual was last in the building on Thursday, December 17. As of today, no confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported by Lottery employees. All employees who had close contact with the individual have been notified and are taking appropriate action.

Operations, including Tuesday night’s drawings, were moved to the Lottery’s Business Continuity Site, which is designated as a back-up facility to ensure continuity of critical business functions in the event that Lottery Headquarters is ever closed or inaccessible for any reason.

The New Jersey Lottery has numerous protocols in place meant to protect workers and the public. The building is cleaned daily and employees follow state and CDC recommended safety measures, including wearing masks and socially distancing.

The New Jersey Lottery will reopen to the public by appointment only on Monday, December 28. Claimants should call the NJ Lottery at 1-800-222-0996 to schedule an appointment during normal business hours. Players without appointments will not be accepted at this time. Claimants are required to wear a mask or face covering when visiting the office.

In addition to mailing, players can also deliver claims to Lottery Headquarters using the new drop box located next to the lobby at our Headquarters in Lawrence. The drop box is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. No appointment is needed to access the drop box, and the drop box is monitored by Lottery Security Officers.

The media and public are being apprised of the reopening of the Lottery studios with this release and through our social media and other public-facing communication channels.

Yesterday’s story here: Coronavirus Hits The Lottery!…NJ Lottery To Close Building Due To COVID-19

Firefighters Keep Well Involved Generator On Fire From Spreading To Other Parked Vehicles

December 23, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–At 2:03 am the Robbinsville Fire Department was dispatched to the 1100 Block of Route 130 for a vehicle fire. Upon arrival they discovered that a generator on a trailer was well involved in fire in a parking area for trucks and heavy equipment. Firefighters were able to quickly knock down the flames before spreading to other trailers and vehicles parked in the area.

“Christmas Star” Great Conjunction Of Saturn and Jupiter

December 22, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)– For the first time in 800 years, planets Saturn and Jupiter aligned. It may appear as one star observed from Earth with the naked eye, hence the conjunction nicknamed the “Christmas Star.” During the month of December, the two planets appeared to move closer together, and on Monday night, they were closest. Unfortunately, clouds over most of New Jersey kept most from seeking the spectacle. Tonight, there was a short break in the clouds long enough to get a photograph of the conjunction.

If you did not see the two planets, you will still have an opportunity over the next few days to see the rare conjunction, but it will appear that the planets are moving further apart each night.

To see the planets, look in the Southwest sky just after dusk and you will see two bright objects that may appear as one with the naked eye. If you use binoculars or a telescope, you can see the two planets apart. As the week progresses, however, Jupiter and Saturn will move further apart once again. To make things easier, use an application like Star Walk 2 or Google Sky Map to find and identify the planets.


Coronavirus Hits The Lottery!…NJ Lottery To Close Building Due To COVID-19

Update: NJ Lottery Headquarters Reopens Following COVID-19 Case

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey Lottery headquarters building is temporarily closed effective immediately for cleaning due to a positive case of Covid-19. Operations will continue at the Lottery’s Business Continuity Site, which is designated as a back-up facility to ensure continuity of critical business functions in the event that Lottery Headquarters is ever closed or inaccessible for any reason.

Lottery staff will conduct tonight’s evening drawings at the Business Continuity Site, a secure environment. As always, the drawings will be monitored by an independent auditor. Tomorrow’s drawings may also be impacted.

The general public should be aware that:

  • The Lottery office will be closed to the public until at least Monday, December 28.
  • The office closure will also necessitate the cancellation of any winner claims appointments. Appointments will be rescheduled after the office reopens.
  • The drawings will be held at the Business Continuity Site.
  • The drawings will still be conducted using mechanical ball machines and in accordance with standard lottery procedures.
  • Drawings for games broadcast from the Business Continuity Site will not be broadcast or livestreamed. Those games include Pick-3, Pick-4, Jersey Cash 5, and CASH4LIFE.
  • The drawing results will be posted to the website, mobile app and emailed to the VIP Club members as per standard operating procedure.
  • The drawings will be videotaped for security purposes only.

The media and public are being apprised of the closure with this release and through our social media and other public-facing communication channels.

The Business Continuity Site is housed at a secure location away from Lottery Headquarters. A team of employees was designated as essential to operations and assigned functions at the Business Continuity Site. The Business Continuity Site facility houses key staff from all Lottery departments including the: Executive team, Administration and Compliance, Communications and Public Relations, Drawing, Finance, Operations, Security and Technology.