Day: December 3, 2020

The Grinch Stopped From Interfering At Robbinsville Tree Lighting

December 3, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Moments after Santa and Mrs. Clause arrived in Robbinsville Fire Department’s Squad 40, the Robbinsville Police put out an APB, or “all points bulletin,” from Whoville Police, looking for a suspicious person trying steal Christmas. The subject they were looking for was a six foot tall male, green fur, red coat, red hat and red pointed shoes seen in the area of Foxmoor Shopping Center.

A few seconds later the mysterious green subject was seen sneaking up on Santa and Mrs. Clause behind the Christmas Tree trying to interfere with the event. Robbinsville Police blinded the Grinch with a spotlight before he took off on foot and being chased by Robbinsville Police Officers. The Grinch was apprehended and brought to the microphone, where Det. Sgt. Kivet and Police K9 Quori told him he would not steal Christmas this year. The Grinch was led away and detained for a short time before escaping custody while the Christmas Tree and Menorah were lit. The Grinch was last seen running behind the Foxmoor Shopping Center on foot and is expected to remain in the area during December. Be on the lookout for Mr. Grinch on your travels in Robbinsville and let Robbinsville PBA # 344 know.

To see video of the Grinch trying to steal Christmas click on link below:

Governor Murphy Directs U.S. and New Jersey Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of State Police Trooper Recruit Lucas C. Homeijer

December 3, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today ordered that the U.S. and New Jersey flags be flown at half-staff at all state buildings and facilities from Friday, December 4, 2020 through Sunday, December 6, 2020, in honor of State Police Trooper Recruit Lucas C. Homeijer who passed away following injuries sustained during a training exercise at the State Police Academy.“State Police Recruit Homeijer was taken from us far too soon,” said Governor Murphy. “Lucas was a bright young man, with an even brighter future. His passing is immensely tragic and is a loss that will be felt not only by his family and friends, but also by the State of New Jersey, which he had dedicated himself to serve. Tammy and I would like to send our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and classmates at the State Police Academy.”

Copy of Executive Order #206

Related MidJersey.News story here:

Col. Callahan Announces Passing Of Recruit Homeijer Who Suffered Injury During Police Training

Police Union’s “No Shave November” Raises $9,660 For Robbinsville Child With Cancer

December 3, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The members of the Robbinsville Township Police Department PBA #344 have been running a “No Shave November” for years. Officers normally are clean shaven, but during the month of November, they are allowed to grow a beard with a donation to a fund that raises money for a good cause. This year, they were joined with the East Windsor Township Police PBA #192, Hopewell Police PBA #342, and Cranbury Police PBA #405, to raise money for Tyler Odman who has a rare stage 4 cancer called Hepatoblastoma.

The collective efforts of the four Police Benevolent Associations of Robbinsville, East Windsor, Hopewell and Cranbury raised $9,660 so far. Tonight, a check was presented to the family at the Robbinsville Township Police Station.

Related MidJersey.News stories here:

No Shave November To Benefit “Tyler’s Tribe”

Police And Firefighters Have Siren Parade To Support Child With Stage 4 Cancer

A “siren parade” was held for Tyler on September 25, 2020 where police, fire and EMS departments from Mercer County and Middlesex County showed their support.

As some of you may already know, Heather and Jason’s world has been shifted and forever changed by the recent cancer diagnosis for their son Tyler. Doctors  recently found a tumor on Tyler’s liver called Hepatoblastoma.

In early July, Tyler was having fevers and not feeling well. After 3 weeks of him not feeling well, his parents decided to take him to the hospital for additional testing. In the hospital, the doctors ordered an ultrasound for his abdomen. It was there that they learned Tyler had a mass on his liver.

That night Tyler was transferred to CHOP. Tyler quickly had blood work, MRI and CT scans, a PET scan, and a biopsy of his liver. On August 17, 2020 it was confirmed that Tyler’s tumor was Hepatoblastoma. He started chemotherapy soon after his diagnosis.

Fortunately, the scans have shown that the cancer is isolated to Tyler’s liver. Tyler has one very large mass, and several other masses all over his liver, which classifies his cancer as stage IV. Chemotherapy will be the beginning of Tyler’s journey. He will require a future surgery, followed by more chemotherapy. 

Tyler has been a rockstar at every single doctors appointment and chemotherapy treatment. He loves to help the doctors and nurses. When he is home from treatment, he enjoys playing outside with his twin brother Chase, eating Chinese food, and chips. 

Heather and Jason have a long road ahead to ensure that Tyler receives the best treatment. He has a busy schedule between blood work appointments, physical therapy, chemotherapy, and various hospital stays. Heather has already taken a leave of absence from work in order to care for Tyler and support his treatment. 

Tyler is a strong little boy, and Heather and Jay are the best parents he could possibly have, who will fight alongside him. That being said, they can’t do this alone! So many people have asked how they can help, right now –  this is it. The donations will help with covering insurance costs, medical bills, physical therapy copays, prescription costs, meals at the hospital, gas, tolls, and coffee for mom and dad.  Any donation will help take some of the burden that comes along with extensive medical treatment, so they can focus on Tyler and Chase.

Although this type of cancer is rare, it is treatable and curable. Tyler has a wonderful team of doctors at CHOP. Tyler has a long road ahead of him, but his positive attitude keeps everyone going each day.  Tyler is our super hero!!!

Please keep Tyler in your prayers. All the continued support you can offer will be forever appreciated by the Odman Family.

Heather, Jason, Tyler, and Chase

Ewing Township Man Who Is A Previously Convicted Felon, Gets 10 Years In Prison For Possession Of Firearm In Trenton

December 3, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Mercer County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 120 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Rasheed McNair, 40, of Ewing, New Jersey, was previously convicted of being a felon in possession of a weapon following a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court. Judge Sheridan imposed the sentence by videoconference today.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

On Feb. 18, 2018, two Trenton Police detectives in the Street Crimes Unit were driving through the area of Oakland Street and Hoffman Avenue in Trenton when one of them observed McNair standing in an open doorway in a public housing complex and holding what was later identified as a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun.

McNair tucked the handgun into his jacket and ran up the stairwell of the building. After giving chase, one of the detectives observed McNair remove the handgun from inside his jacket and attempt to hide it under a doormat in front of an apartment. The other detective retrieved the firearm from under the doormat and rendered it safe. The weapon was later found to be loaded with 11 rounds of ammunition in the magazine and one round in the chamber, and its serial number had been obliterated.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced McNair to three years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah A. Coley; and special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elisa T. Wiygul and Michelle S. Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.


Defense counsel: Mark A. Fury Esq., Mt. Holly, New Jersey

Monmouth County Man Admits To Possession Of Machinegun

December 3, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man today admitted being a felon in possession of a firearm and unlawfully possessing a machinegun, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Davon Harley, 30, of Neptune City, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an indictment charging him with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of unlawful possession of a machinegun.

According to documents filed today and statements made in court:

In February 2020, a Neptune City Police officer confronted Harley, a previously convicted felon, who was arguing with others in the yard of an apartment complex. Harley fled through the apartment complex into neighboring properties and discarded a handgun that, upon inspection, had been altered to fire exclusively in fully automatic mode. The weapon had a magazine capable of holding 31 rounds of ammunition. Law enforcement officers, assisted by the Neptune Township and Asbury Park police departments, located Harley and the machinegun and magazine that Harley had discarded. The magazine contained 22 rounds of ammunition.

The felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a machinegun charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for April 12, 2021.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensured that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see Project Guardian. 

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; officers of the Neptune City Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Matthew Quagliato; officers of the Neptune Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police James M. Hunt, Jr.; officers of the Asbury Park Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police David Kelso; officers of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Shaun Golden; and detectives of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Matthews of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.


Defense Counsel: Mark G. Davis Esq., Trenton, New Jersey

Monmouth County Insurance Agent and his Father Plead Guilty to Insurance Fraud in Scheme to Provide Life Insurance Policies Free of Charge in Order to Collect Sales Commissions

December 3, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor announced that a Monmouth County insurance agent and his father pleaded guilty to engaging in a scheme that provided insurance applicants with free life insurance and caused various insurance companies to disburse more than $4 million in fraudulent commissions.

Frank Pescatore, 73, of Asbury Park, pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud and his son, Evan Pescatore, 38, of Highlands, pleaded guilty to third-degree insurance fraud today before Superior Court Judge Lourdes Lucas in Monmouth County.

Under a plea agreement, the State will recommend that Frank Pescatore be sentenced as a third-degree offender to a three-year prison term. The State will recommend that Evan Pescatore be sentenced to a term of non-custodial probation under the terms of his plea agreement. Sentencings are scheduled for February 1, 2021.

“Using fraud and deceit to obtain payouts from insurance companies is a crime that undermines the integrity of the insurance industry and drives up costs for everyone,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We will continue to pursue these cases to bring violators to justice and send a message of deterrence to the public.

In pleading guilty, the two men admitted to defrauding insurance companies in a scheme to provide high-value life insurance policies at no cost to applicants in order to obtain commissions from the insurance companies. Eighteen policies – with face values totaling $61.5 million – were caused to be issued by eight insurance companies in the scheme.

This process of providing applicants/insureds with an inducement to apply for life insurance policies by paying their premiums, known as “rebating,” is prohibited by the insurance industry as well as state law.

“Rebating fraud violates the legitimate purpose of insurance by providing benefits to individuals through fraudulent and ill-gotten commissions, rebates, and free short-term insurance,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson. “The financial losses suffered by insurance carriers are passed on to honest policy holders in the form of higher premiums. My office is committed to investigating and putting a stop to this kind of criminal enterprise.”

Deputy Attorney General Jennifer L. Menjivar represented the State in the plea hearings. Detectives Natalie Brotherston, Taryn Seidner, and Matthew Armstrong coordinated the investigation with assistance from analyst Kelly Celenza.

Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Thompson noted that important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.

2.1 Earthquake Near Milford, NJ

December 3, 2020

At 6:55 am the USGS reports a M 2.1 – 2 km E of Milford, New Jersey location: 40.567N 75.070W

  • 2.1 km (1.3 mi) E of Milford, New Jersey
  • 17.3 km (10.8 mi) SE of Phillipsburg, New Jersey
  • 18.5 km (11.5 mi) SE of Easton, Pennsylvania
  • 26.2 km (16.3 mi) ESE of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

47.8 km (29.6 mi) NW of Trenton, New Jersey

40.567N 75.070W

More information at this USGS link