Month: January 2021

3 Airlifted To Trauma Centers Following Serious Crash, 26 Year Old Charged With Reckless Driving

UPDATE: Update: Manahawkin Man Man Faces Additional Charges Involving Crash On January 30, 2021

January 31, 2021

LITTLE EGG HARBOR, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 30, 2021, at approximately 9:45 p.m., officers from the Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department responded to the area of Radio Road and Baltusrol Court for a report of a two-vehicle crash with serious injuries.  An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit and Little Egg Harbor Police Department revealed that a 2017 Hyundai Elantra operated by Michael Pillarella, 26, of Manahawkin, was traveling northbound on Radio Road when he failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway, crossed over the centerline, and struck an oncoming 2006 Toyota XB travelling southbound on Radio Road.  The Toyota XB was operated by a juvenile, and there was also a juvenile passenger in the vehicle.  As a result of the crash, both juveniles sustained serious injuries and were subsequently airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, where they remain listed in critical condition.

Pillarella was airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Trauma Center in Atlantic City for treatment of his injuries from the crash.  A search warrant was obtained for a draw of Pillarella’s blood, and laboratory results remain pending.  Pillarella was treated and released from the hospital, and has been issued motor vehicle summonses for Reckless Driving in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-96, and Failure to Maintain Lane in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-88.  

“This matter remains under investigation, and additional charges may be forthcoming,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, New Jersey State Police, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their combined 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.

UPDATE: 3 Injured In West Windsor Crash

January 31, 2021

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–On Saturday January 30, 2021 at 7:59 pm, Lawrence Township and West Windsor Police Department Patrol Units, West Windsor Emergency Services, Princeton Junction Fire Company, and West Windsor Fire Company were detailed to the intersection of Quakerbridge Road at Nassau Park Boulevard on a report of a Serious Motor Vehicle Crash with entrapment.

Two occupants of a Toyota Prius (Vehicle #1) were trapped, a 61-year-old driver suffered a trauma injury and the 64-year-old passenger suffered a life threating injury, both were West Windsor residents. Members of the Princeton Junction and West Windsor Fire Companies extricated the trapped occupants of vehicle #1.  

A 45-year-old driver and 42-year-old passenger in a Nissan Armada (Vehicle # 2) of Hopewell were not injured. The driver of a Hyundai Vera Cruz (Vehicle # 3) a resident of Trenton suffered neck and back pain.

All of the injured parties were attended to while the roadway was shut down including US Route 1 South’s Quakerbridge Road (West) exit ramp.  Driver #1 and the front seat Passenger of the Toyota Prius were ultimately removed from their Vehicle and the driver of  Hyundai were all taken to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton

The initial investigation revealed the following:  Vehicle #1, a 2005 Toyota Prius, had been traveling southbound on Nassau Park Boulevard, was approaching the Quakerbridge Road intersection, and was attempting a left turn.  Vehicle #2, a 2020 Nissan Armada, was traveling northbound on Province Line Road (Lawrence Township), was approaching the Quakerbridge Road intersection and was attempting to continue straight through the intersection.  Vehicle #3, a 2007 Hyundai Vera Cruz, was traveling westbound on Quakerbridge Road, was attempting to turn right onto Nassau Park Boulevard.  The intersection is governed by a traffic signal.  Vehicles #1 and #2 collided in the intersection.  The force of the collision sent Vehicle #2 careening into Vehicle #3.  All (3) Vehicles remained in their final resting places.  The roadway remained closed for approximately 2 1/2 Hours.  

This incident remains under investigation.  No charges have been issued at the time of this release.  If anyone has any additional pertinent information, please contact Traffic Officer McQuade at, Traffic Sgt. Bal at , or calling (609) 799-1222. 

** All Identities withheld at this time**

Read last night’s breaking news story here: BREAKING: Accident Investigation at Quakerbridge Road and Nassau Park Blvd.

Governor Murphy Declares State of Emergency In Response to Expected Winter Storm

State Offices Closed on Monday, February 1st for Non-Weather Essential Personnel

All Six Vaccine Mega-Sites Closed Monday Due To Winter Storm

NJ TRANSIT Will Temporarily Suspend All Service on Monday Except Atlantic City Rail Line Which Will Operate On A Regular Weekday Schedule

January 31, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today declared that New Jersey will enter a state of emergency beginning Sunday, January 31, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. in response to the expected winter storm. Snow accumulation for the storm began as of Sunday afternoon, with the heaviest snow expected to fall during the day on Monday, and hazardous conditions may continue through Tuesday morning. Executive Order No. 218 declares a state of emergency across all 21 counties in New Jersey, allowing resources to be deployed throughout the state during the duration of the storm.

State offices will be closed on Monday, February 1st, 2021. This does not include weather-essential employees. Private companies and businesses should dismiss their employees at their own discretion. All six vaccine mega-sites will be closed on Monday, February 1st due to the storm.

All NJ TRANSIT buses, rail (except Atlantic City Rail Line), light rail and Access Link service will be temporarily suspended systemwide for the entire service day on Monday, February 1st due to the significant expected impacts of the snow storm.

“Heavy snow, coastal flooding, and high winds are expected in many parts of the state ,” said Governor Murphy. “The safety of residents and workers is our utmost priority. Please follow all weather-related guidance and stay off the roads in order to allow access for emergency personnel.”

“The New Jersey Department of Transportation is coordinating with our regional and local transportation partners and the New Jersey State Police to ensure the most effective response to this storm,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “We are grateful for the  public’s assistance by staying at home and allowing transportation agencies to safely and efficiently clear roadways of snow and ice.”

“Our State Emergency Operations Center has been activated to coordinate with our State Emergency Management Partners. Troopers throughout the state are ready to assist residents and drivers both on and off of the highways for the duration of this storm as needed,” said State Director of Emergency Management and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan. “However, we cannot do it without the help of our communities. Please use caution if you must travel, prepare emergency kits for use at home and in your vehicle, and check on your neighbors.”  

“In anticipation of the snowstorm, the NJBPU has been in communication with the utilities and they are prepared for the weather emergency,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “We expect outages as a result of the storm and advise residents to charge their phones in advance, make necessary preparations and report any outages to their utility. As always, do not touch or go near any downed wires. We know that any outage is an inconvenience and we will be working with the utilities to ensure they restore all outages as safely and as quickly as possible.”

“NJOHSP coordinates with its partners and New Jersey’s critical infrastructure operators to prepare for all hazards such as this winter storm,” said Jared M. Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. “As we continue to monitor for other potential threats, we’re working with our partners to reduce the storm’s impact to residents and visitors. We encourage everyone to stay home and to please consider checking in on family and friends via phone, email, or social media.”

Parts of New Jersey are expected to experience heavy snow, coastal flooding, and blizzard-like conditions. To prepare for the winter storm, the New Jersey State Police has activated the State Emergency Operations Center in order to monitor the storm. The New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey Turnpike Authority, and South Jersey Transportation Authority will also deploy over 3,900 plows and spreaders to keep roads and communities safe. 

The Governor encourages New Jerseyans to visit for important weather updates and safety information. New Jersey residents should also pay attention to local forecasts, warnings, and watches.

For those living in Central and Southern New Jersey, visit the U.S. National Weather Service Philadelphia/Mount Holly at

For those living in Northern New Jersey and the New York Metro area, visit the U.S. National Weather Service New York, N.Y. at

The Bergen, Burlington, and Gloucester County mega-site were pre-scheduled to be closed on Monday, February 1st.  Anyone with appointments at the Atlantic, Middlesex, or Morris mega-sites will receive a call from the health care partner at that site and be rescheduled within the week.

  • Atlantic (AtlantiCare) and Middlesex (RWJBarnabas) will be rescheduled to Thursday
  • Morris (Atlantic Health) will be rescheduled to Wednesday
  • Health care partners will begin making calls after 2:00 PM today
  • The Vaccination Call Center will remain open through the storm: 855-568-0545

Important Tips to Remember When Preparing for Winter Weather: 

  1. Secure loose items in your yard such as trash cans, children’s toys, and lawn decorations. 
  2. Build an emergency kit that includes supplies for the whole family, including pets. Due to COVID-19 there are a few updates to preparing for this winter season such as including hand soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectant supplies and cloth face coverings in your emergency kits/go-bags.
  3. Have cash on hand. If the power is out, so are the ATMs and credit card machines.
  4. Know how to report a power outage to your utility company.
  5. Know where your utility shut off valves (gas, electric, water) are and how to use them.
  6. NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
  7. Be sure to keep an adequate amount of gas in your car. 
  8. Be sure to check on friends and neighbors who have access or functional needs. Due to COVID-19, in person visits may not be ideal under certain circumstances. Please adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear a mask. Use other means of communication such as phone, text or video chat to check on neighbors and help prepare them.
  9. Be sure to have extra medications on hand and keep them in a water-resistant container.
  10. Get all of your vital records and insurance papers together now. Keep them in a water-resistant container. If you can, scan and email them to yourself so you have a copy of important numbers and policies, etc.
  11. Charge your cell phones and try not to use them if the power goes out.

A copy of Executive Order No. 218 can be found here

NJ Transit Announces Service Suspensions For Monday February 1

Due To Winter Storm NJ TRANSIT Will Temporarily Suspend All Service Except Atlantic City Rail Line Which Will Operate On A Regular Weekday Schedule

January 31, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–All NJ TRANSIT buses, rail (except Atlantic City Rail Line), light rail and Access Link service will be temporarily suspended systemwide for the entire service day on Monday, February 1st due to the significant expected impacts of the snow storm. Service is suspended out of an abundance of caution for the safety of NJ TRANSIT customers and employees.    

Given the volume of snow predicted throughout the state and the timing of the storm when accumulations will be highest beginning in mid-morning, there is a significant risk of not being able to get customers back to their origin points later in the day as the storm intensifies. Further, particularly on bus, roads need to remain clear for local, county and State forces to remove snow so service can resume on Tuesday as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Regular weekday service will operate on the Atlantic City Rail Line on Monday, as long as weather conditions safely allow.  Customers are encouraged to only use the ACRL for essential travel only. Customers should closely monitor social media, MyTransit alerts or for the latest service information.

Customers may see trains and light rail vehicles operating during the service day tomorrow, those cars are operating without passengers to keep catenary wires and rail lines free of snow and ice.  

NJ TRANSIT’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be open and closely monitoring weather forecasts and conditions as the storm develops. Key personnel will monitor any impacts to the system throughout the duration of the storm.   

For further details and updated travel information, sign up for My Transit Alerts, download the NJ TRANSIT app and follow us on Social Media. 

NJ TRANSIT Preparations for Winter Weather 

Rail Operations

  • Rail cars and locomotives have been “winterized,” a process that includes checking onboard heating systems, ventilation, thermostats, weather stripping and electronic components, as well as changing locomotive filters and fuel from a summer blend to a winter blend.
  • NJ TRANSIT’s preventative maintenance program also includes the inspection and winter maintenance of more than 750 switches and switch heaters, overhead wire systems, 12 moveable bridges and wayside power at storage yards and terminals.
  • Two jet-engine-powered snow blowers are available to remove ice and snow from tracks and critical switching areas. In addition, all locomotives are equipped with snowplows to clear snow from the rails.
  • NJ TRANSIT Rail Operations has approximately 20,000 pounds of salt on hand with the ability to obtain an additional 100,000 pounds, if needed.
  • In addition, our year-round tree trimming program proactively minimizes downed trees or limbs along the right-of-way and on our overhead electrical system, personnel are on standby to quickly respond to reports of trees or limbs that could damage overhead wires or prevent safe passage of trains.  Our year-round tree trimming program is part of our preventative maintenance program. 

Bus Operations 

  • Bus maintenance personnel have checked the heating systems, engine fluids, tires, windshield wipers, doors and airbrake systems on NJ TRANSIT’s 2,200 buses.
  • Bus snow-fighting equipment has been readied and ice/snow-inhibiting supplies have been restocked for winter to keep 52 bus loops, terminals and lots cleared throughout the state.
  • NJ TRANSIT Bus Operations has 525 tons of bulk salt on standby statewide, with each of its 16 garages stocked with bags of salt.  

Light Rail Operations 

  • Snowplows are ready to clear station platforms and park/ride lots.
  • Switch heaters have been tested throughout NJ TRANSIT’s three light rail systems.
  • Necessary supplies such as calcium chloride, snow shovels, and scrapers are available and strategically located on the system.
  • Snow blowers and backup generators have been checked to ensure they are in working order.
  • Subcontractors are under contract to assist work crews in clearing all light rail stations, walkways, and park/ride facilities.
  • Management staff for all three lines will be coordinating with local municipalities to discuss snow removal in the light rail’s downtown ‘street running’ territory.  

Stations and Terminals 

  • All rail stations equipped with heaters have been inspected to ensure that they are in proper working order.
  • Staff will monitor platform conditions to ensure safe walking conditions.   

Travel Advice:

  • Before starting your trip, visit for up-to-the-minute service information. 
  • Customers are encouraged to download or update the NJ TRANSIT mobile app to set up and receive customized service alert information via push notifications.  Visit the You Tube video for easy instructions on setting up custom push notifications.
  • Stay connected to NJ TRANSIT social media during your commute. Find and follow your rail, bus or light rail-specific Twitter accounts for the best information:
    • @NJTRANSIT_NBUS (North Jersey Bus)
    • @NJTRANSIT_SBUS (South Jersey Bus)
  • Sign up for the My Transit alert system on, which delivers travel advisories for your specific trip to your cell phone via email or text.
  • Allow extra time getting to and from your destination.  Use extreme caution when walking on exposed sidewalks or station platforms and when boarding trains and buses.
  • Listen closely to public address announcements at stations for late-breaking service information.  


NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.

Car Hits Home In Hightstown

January 31, 2021

Slow down roads are very slippery in untreated areas.

HIGHTSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–Around 3:50 pm the Hightstown Police Department, Hightstown Fire Company and Robbinsville EMS responded to North Main Street and Monmouth Street for a vehicle into a building.

Upon arrival the vehicle appeared to have struck a home and came to rest in the street at the corner of N. Main and Monmouth Streets, no injuries were reported. Hightstown Police shut down the intersection until the car could be towed away.

Hightstown Police Department is investigating the accident. No other information is available.

NJDOT Issues Commercial Vehicle Restrictions On Multiple Interstate Highways Beginning On Sunday At 12 Noon

Restrictions do not apply to New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway or Atlantic City Expressway

January 31, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti has issued a commercial vehicle travel restriction on multiple Interstate highways in New Jersey starting at 12 noon, Sunday, January 31 based on the forecast for heavy snow and strong winds.

Winter weather is expected to begin in the southern region of the state around midday Sunday and move northward, resulting in difficult driving conditions through Tuesday. The travel restrictions are being coordinated with neighboring states. In addition to the commercial restrictions, all motorists are strongly encouraged to stay off the roads, particularly Sunday night and Monday. The safest place to be is at home.

The commercial vehicle travel restriction will begin at 12 noon, Sunday, January 31 and will be in place for the length of the following highways in both directions:

  • I-76, from the Walt Whitman Bridge (Pennsylvania border) to NJ Route 42
  • I-78, from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
  • I-80, from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
  • I-195, from I-295 to NJ Route 138
  • I-280, from I-80 to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)
  • I-287, from NJ Route 440 to the New York State border
  • I-295, from the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the Scudders Falls Bridge (Pennsylvania border)
  • I-676, from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (Pennsylvania border) to I-76
  • NJ Route 440, from the Outerbridge Crossing to I-287 The commercial vehicle travel restriction applies to:
  • All tractor trailers (exceptions as listed in the Administrative Order)
  • Empty straight CDL-weighted trucks
  • Passenger vehicles pulling trailers
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Motorcycles

This restriction DOES NOT apply to:

  • The New Jersey Turnpike
  • The Garden State Parkway
  • The Atlantic City Expressway
  • Public safety vehicles, sworn and civilian public safety personnel; as well as other personnel directly supporting healthcare facilities or critical infrastructure such as providing fuel or food. For a complete list of operations or personnel that are exempt from the travel ban, see the Administrative Order.

Trucks that are already in New Jersey when the travel restrictions go into place are encouraged to pull off in truck stops to wait out the storm – DO NOT PARK ON SHOULDERS.

NJDOT’s first priority is ensuring public safety. The storm is expected to intensify Sunday evening through Monday, making it challenging for plow crews to keep pace with the storm. The Department is fully activated with more than 3,000 plows and salt spreaders ready to clear state highways.

Early Monday morning, NJDOT will deploy our Incline Package assets on I-280 and I-78 at Jugtown mountain (between Exits 7 and 11), which includes pre-positioning towing assets, NJDOT Safety Service Patrol (SSP) trucks, and coordination with New Jersey State Police. Additional towing assets are prepositioned statewide to assist disabled vehicles to ensure Interstate and State highways remain clear for plow crews.

NJDOT is coordinating with all state and regional transportation agencies to ensure the most effective response to the impending weather. In order for NJDOT and our regional and local transportation partners to safely and efficiently clear roadways of snow and ice, motorists need to Clear the Roads so We Can Clear the Roads.

Residents and motorists should avoid driving unless you are an essential employee needed for emergency response. If you do not have to be on the roads during the storm, stay home. If you must drive, do so carefully and plan your trips accordingly, road conditions can change in an instant.

If you see crews on the roads, please stay back and do not pass them. They are clearing the roadways for your safety. If you have to drive, NJDOT advises motorists to:

  • Leave early and allow extra time
  • Make sure your vehicle is fully fueled
  • SLOW DOWN, and obey posted speed limits
  • Leave a safe following distance between vehicles
  • Use caution on bridges and ramps
  • Always STAY CLEAR of plowing and spreading trucks. If they are behind you, let them pass
  • DO NOT pass between trucks that are in a plow formation
  • If you are driving and road conditions deteriorate, PULL OFF somewhere safe and wait it out
  • Be patient and use caution
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car with a cell phone charger, water, snacks and other items. See the NJ Office of Emergency Managements web site for more information: prepare/winter.shtml

NJDOT will be using Variable Message Signs throughout the storm to provide winter driving alerts, as well as the NJDOT Facebook page and Twitter @NewJerseyDOT. Motorists are encouraged to check NJDOT’s traffic information website for real-time travel information.

Carbon Monoxide Incident Resolved at Costco Warehouse

January 31, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Just after 8:30 am employees reported an alarm sounding thought at the time to be a CO2 alarm (carbon dioxide) with two employees feeling ill and the store was evacuated. Lawrence Township Police, Lawrence Township EMS and firefighters from all three Lawrence Township fire companies responded to the scene. PSE&G arrived and tested the air using a multi gas meter and found 83 parts per million of CO (carbon monoxide) in an area of the building. Firefighters also arrived and found mostly negative readings until they were in an area of a stove. PSE&G and firefighters made the building save and the issue was resolved. The store was reopened and customers and employees returned to business as usual. The two employees that reported illness did not wish transport to the hospital. No further information was available.

Restaurant Fire Quickly Extinguished In Hamilton

Update: After Kitchen Fire, Hamilton’s Sakana Asian Cuisine Plans Reconstruction And Will Reopen When Completed

January 31, 2021, Updated to include hazardous material response by Hamilton and West Windsor

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 7:30 am multiple 9-1-1 calls reported smoke coming from the roof in the 3100 Block of Quakerbridge Road from the Sakana Asian Cuisine Restaurant. Upon arrival of the Hamilton Township fire chief a full first alarm “all hands” fire was called sending additional Hamilton firefighters, and firefighters from Lawrence Township and Robbinsville Township Fire Departments to the scene. Fire crews pulled two 2 1/2 inch hand lines and advanced though the front door to a fire in the ceiling of the kitchen area in the rear of the store. Ladder companies laddered the building and worked on the roof. The fire crews inside pulled down the ceiling and extinguished the fire. A five inch supply line was laid out to Quakerbridge road to the fire hydrant temporarily closing the roadway until the fire was out. A roadblock was set up by the Hamilton Township Police Department and Hamilton Fire Police set up a detour in the area. The fire was under control by 8:00 am. Firefighters were able to hold the fire to the kitchen area at the rear of the restaurant and kept the fire from spreading to the roof and attached stores in the strip mall.

PSE&G, Hamilton Township Building Department, Hamilton Township Health Department also responded to the scene. The fire is under investigation by the Hamilton Township Fire Marshal.

Hazardous materials teams from Hamilton and West Windsor Township responded to the scene after the fire was out to mitigate chemicals that were undergoing a hazardous chemical reaction. Hamilton and West Windsor Hazmat teams mitigated the hazard and contained the chemical without incident.

Be Prepared For Significant Winter Storm, NWS Issues Winter Storm Warning For Total Snow Accumulations of 16″ to 22″

January 31, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey State Police is urging New Jersey residents to prepare for a nor’easter that will affect the entire state. From late Sunday night through Tuesday morning, most of New Jersey will be under a Winter Storm Warning.

The storm is expected to create hazardous travel conditions statewide, so if you do not need to travel, please stay home to allow crews to safely treat our roadways. If you must travel, here are some safety tips to follow:

• Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on slick or snow-covered surfaces

• Increase the following distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, which will help prevent rear-end crashes on slick roads

• Make sure your cell phone is fully charged before you leave for your trip

• Pack bottled water, blankets, and dry food goods in the event you get stranded

• Leave a friend or family member a travel itinerary so that they can alert police should you get stranded and/or lose cell service

• Make sure your gas tank is full before you leave in case you get stuck in traffic

• Top off your windshield washer fluid to clear salt from your windshield

• Pack a few bags of sand or cat litter, which can create traction for vehicles stuck on slippery road grades

If your vehicle becomes disabled during the storm, follow these safety rules:

• Call 9-1-1

• Stay inside your car. You are safer inside your car than outside

• Turn on your hazard lights

• To avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t run your car for long periods of time with the windows fully up. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically — just long enough to stay warm

The best way to avoid storm-related travel hazards is to stay off of the roads, but if you must travel, please take the time to prepare. Before you leave, make sure you check for the latest weather updates.

Winter Storm Warning


National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ

1050 AM EST Sun Jan 31 2021



Hunterdon-Somerset-Middlesex-Mercer-Upper Bucks-Lower Bucks-

Including the cities of Flemington, Somerville, New Brunswick,

Trenton, Chalfont, Perkasie, Morrisville, and Doylestown

1050 AM EST Sun Jan 31 2021



* WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 16 to 22

  inches. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph.

* WHERE…Portions of central, northern and northwest New Jersey

  and southeast Pennsylvania.

* WHEN…From 5 PM this afternoon to 1 PM EST Tuesday.

* IMPACTS…Travel could be very difficult to impossible. The

  hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening


* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Snow develops late this afternoon and

  will last through Monday night or early Tuesday. Snow may be

  heavy at times on Monday.


If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in

your vehicle in case of an emergency.

The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can

be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

BREAKING: Accident Investigation at Quakerbridge Road and Nassau Park Blvd.

January 30, 2021

Read update here: UPDATE: 3 Injured In West Windsor Crash

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Around 8:00 pm a multi-vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of Nassau Park Boulevard and Quakerbridge Road trapping two people in one of the vehicles. Firefighters from West Windsor and Lawrence Township responded for the rescue, West Windsor EMS-Emergency Services, Princeton First Aid, and Capital Health Paramedics. West Windsor and Lawrence Township Police responded and provided traffic control. At least two people were extricated and then transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center from the accident. One person had minor injuries and one was transported with more serious injuries needing for a “trauma alert” to be called.

West Windsor Police closed the roadway and conducted a accident investigation. The roadway was reopened by 10:15 pm.

This is a breaking news report. West Windsor Police will be issuing a press release sometime tomorrow and once received the story will be updated and any corrections made.

New Brunswick Man Charged for Attempted Kidnapping

January 30, 2021

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Anthony A. Caputo of the New Brunswick Police Department announced today that a City man has been charged with attempted kidnapping.

On January 29, 2021, Gary Prichard, 41, of New Brunswick was arrested and charged with fourth-degree possession of an imitation firearm for an unlawful purpose and second-degree attempted kidnapping. 

Prichard was charged following an investigation by Detective Keith Walcott of the New Brunswick Police Department.  The investigation determined that, on Monday, January 25, 2021 at approximately 11:30 P.M., Prichard drove up to the victim as she was walking on Easton Avenue.  As Prichard approached the victim, he drew what appeared to be a handgun and demanded she get into his truck.  When the victim refused, Prichard fled the area.  Prichard was ultimately identified as the driver and owner of the truck, which was captured on camera as he fled the scene.  A starter pistol was also recovered from Prichard’s truck following the execution of a search warrant.  

Prichard is presently lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center where he is being held pending a pre-trial detention hearing in Superior Court next week. 

The investigation is active and continuing.  Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Walcott at (732) 745-5217.  As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Prichard are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Police Investigating Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash Into Canal Involving 17 Year Old Victim

January 30, 2021

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ (SOMERSET)–Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor and Franklin Township Public Safety Director Quovella M. Spruill announce an ongoing investigation into a fatal motor vehicle crash. On January 29, 2021 at 9:22 PM the Franklin Township Police Department received a 9-1-1 call reporting that a motor vehicle had left the roadway and went into the canal near Suydam Road.

Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS Personnel and divers from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Emergency Response Team responded to the scene. After searching for approximately an hour, the vehicle was located with the assistance of the New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit. Divers entered the water and found the 17 year-old female driver from Kendall Park within the vehicle. She was transported to a local area trauma center where she was pronounced deceased.

The Franklin Township Police Department’s Traffic Safety Bureau and Detectives from the Franklin Township Police Department are conducting an investigation into the factors that contributed to this incident. The initial investigation revealed that the female driver was travelling southbound on Canal Road in a 2006 Jeep Commander when she left the roadway and entered the canal.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Sgt. James Raics at 732-873-5533 extension 3177 or at

Accident on NJ Turnpike In Robbinsville

January 30, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–At 12:02 am the Robbinsville Township Fire Department and EMS, Hightstown EMS and Fire Department were dispatched to the NJ Turnpike north bound at mile marker 64 for an accident. Upon arrival the accident was minor and the first aid squad reported the person refused transport to the hospital. The NJ State Police is investigating the crash. No other information was available.

New York Man Charged in Grandparent Scam

January 29, 2021

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief James Parker of the South Plainfield Police Department announced today that a New York man has been charged for his involvement in a grandparent scam.

On January 27, 2021, Albert Peralta-Munoz, 22, of the Bronx was arrested and charged via a complaint-summons with second-degree Use of a Juvenile to Commit a Crime, third-degree Theft by Deception, and third-degree Conspiracy. 

Peralta-Munoz was charged along with a juvenile following an investigation by the South Plainfield Police that determined, at approximately 11:30 A.M., a borough resident received a phone call from an individual who demanded $6,500.00 for release of the resident’s grandchild from jail.  Peralta-Munoz and the juvenile were later arrested as they attempted to collect the money from the victim.

The investigation is active and continuing.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Garret Cassio at (908) 226-7662 / or Detective Peter Hlavka (908) 226-7661 /

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Peralta-Munoz and the juvenile are merely accusations and they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

UPDATE: Woman Rescued From House Fire As Winds Whip Flames In Freezing Temperatures

January 29, 2021

Update to the early morning: BREAKING: House Fire In Toms River

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On January 28th, 2021 at approximately 11:30 PM, multiple Toms River Police, Fire and EMS units responded to Loxley Drive for a reported structure fire. Upon arrival, officers observed a two story, single family home actively on fire. Due to strong winds in the area responding officers evacuated surrounding residences.

Neighbors believed the homeowner was still in the residence at the time of police arrival. Officer Rebecca Sayegh forced entry through the front door and located the homeowner in the foyer who was unable to open the door and exit due to the heavy smoke. Officer Sayegh confirmed that there were no other occupants inside the residence and escorted the homeowner, and her pets, across the street to the neighbors’ residence where she was evaluated by Toms River EMS.

Multiple Fire Departments responded and assisted in extinguishing the fire. Toms River Fire Companies 1 and 2, East Dover Fire Department, Silverton Fire Department, Pleasant Plains Fire Company, and Island Heights Fire Department, as well as, Brick Twp Fire and EMS Mass Care Response Team. Toms River Police Detectives Roger Hull and Travis Seaman were on scene along with Toms River Fire Inspectors Matthew Janora and Dana Mitchell.

Due to freezing temperatures, Toms River Department of Public Works responded to the area to sand and salt the roadways to prevent hazardous road conditions.

One firefighter was transported to Community Medical Center for treatment of a minor injury. The cause of the fire is under investigation by Toms River Bureau of Fire Prevention and is believed to be accidental.

Attorney General’s Office releases video footage of crash that fatally injured driver who fled attempted traffic stop in Bordentown Township

January 29, 2021

Published by: Tyler Eckel

The Attorney General’s Office today released video footage which captured events surrounding a single-vehicle accident in which Keron Roundtree, 23, of Trenton, N.J., was injured when he sped away from Bordentown Township Police Officer Keith Alexander after an attempted traffic stop on Oct. 27, 2020.  Mr. Roundtree succumbed to those injuries on November 17, 2020, at which time the investigation transferred from the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office to the Attorney General’s Office, pursuant to P.L. 2019, c.1.

Video recordings from the officer’s body-worn camera and vehicular mobile video recorder are being released pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General’s Office in 2019 that are designed to promote the fair, impartial and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Prior to today’s release, investigators met with Mr. Roundtree’s relatives to review the video recordings with them.

On the night of Oct. 27, Officer Alexander was on patrol on Route 206 Southbound in a marked police vehicle when he saw a Nissan Maxima traveling southbound in the left lane brake abruptly. The car, which was driven by Mr. Roundtree, resumed traveling southbound. Officer Alexander then followed Mr. Roundtree and observed him commit several motor vehicle infractions. 

At approximately 8:51 p.m., about two minutes after he began following Mr. Roundtree’s car, Officer Alexander activated his overhead lights and siren to make a motor vehicle stop. At that point, Mr. Roundtree’s car sped off, traveling at speeds that reached in excess of 110 mph. Approximately one minute later, and without coming into contact with another car, Mr. Roundtree’s car crashed into a wooded area on the right side of Rt. 206. His car traveled into and out of the woods, coming to rest on the right shoulder of Route 206 Southbound.

Officer Alexander exited his vehicle and located Mr. Roundtree’s car. The car, which was heavily damaged, contained two occupants: Mr. Roundtree and an adult male passenger. Two bystanders assisted Officer Alexander in removing and rendering aid to both. Once ambulances arrived, the occupants of the Nissan Maxima were transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, N.J. Mr. Roundtree remained in the hospital until his death on Nov. 17, 2020. The passenger was admitted for treatment and later released.

The video recordings from Officer Alexander’s body-worn camera and the mobile video recorder in his police vehicle are posted online: Click here for recordings.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time. 

This investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L. 2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct all investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. Separately, the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which was issued by Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting these investigations. The Directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are conducted in a full, impartial and transparent manner. Under both state law and the Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed. At present due to the COVID-19 pandemic, regular grand juries are not sitting and hearing cases.

Trenton Cats Rescue rescues multiple cats from hoarding situation

January 29, 2020

By: Tyler Eckel

TRENTON (MERCER)– Trenton Cats Rescue was made aware of a hoarding situation where the owner of the residence passed away, leaving approximately 50 cats. After the passing, the resident’s caretaker was still feeding the cats and letting them in and out of the house.

After being notified of the situation, Trenton Cats Rescue (TCR) immediately readied their volunteers to rescue the cats from the residence.

On January 20, volunteers of TCR responded to the residence in the City of Trenton, where they began to set up traps. Within the first few days, TCR was able to trap 45 cats. Traps have been placed at the location to catch the remainder.

All cats rescued needed medical care, including spaying/neutering, vaccines, deworming, and flea/mite treatments. The cats are now spending the next few weeks in volunteer foster homes to allow them to gain weight, recover from various wounds, get dental surgeries, additional antiparasitic treatments, and overall become more healthy.

All of the adoptable cats from this incident should be available through Trenton Cats Rescue, EASEL, and All God’s Creatures sometime in mid to late February.

TCR would like to thank all of the volunteers and those who have donated through their website and their Facebook page for their care and consideration of the cats.

Trenton Cats Rescue is an all volunteer, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to helping community, sheltered and family cats in Trenton, New Jersey. Trenton Cats Rescue does not have a building, receives no state or government funding and relies on donations and volunteers. To volunteer or DONATE go to

See related MidJersey.News’ story here: Trenton Cats Rescue holds Halloween adoption event at The Healthy Animal of Robbinsville

See related MidJersey.News’ story here: 21 Cats adopted at Trenton Cats Rescue event held at The Healthy Animal

BREAKING: House Fire In Toms River

January 29, 2021

UPDATE: Woman Rescued From House Fire As Winds Whip Flames In Freezing Temperatures

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Just after 11:30 pm last night a fire broke out in the 600 Block of Loxley Drive. The first arriving officer reported a well involved 2nd floor and fire though the roof. Additional fire apparatus was called to the scene. Ariel master streams were set up to combat the heavy fire conditions. A rehab unit from Brick Police Department was requested due to the cold temperatures. There were radio reports of one firefighter transported for a foot injury. No further information was available about the fire.

Fugitive From Justice Charged With Attempted Murder Apprehended In Atlantic City

January 28, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced that Donald Rutter, 61, of Tuckerton, a fugitive from justice who was charged on January 6, 2021 with the Attempted Murder of Thomas Jarvis, 55, of Little Egg Harbor, was apprehended by the United States Marshals Service in Atlantic City on January 28, 2021.

On January 5, 2021, at approximately 7:30 p.m., Little Egg Harbor Township Police were dispatched to Jarvis Marine on Radio Road in response to a 911 call which related that an individual had been shot.  Responding Officers found Thomas Jarvis with an apparent gunshot wound to his midsection.  Mr. Jarvis was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.  He has since been released from the hospital and is reportedly recovering from his injuries.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit revealed that Rutter was, in fact, the individual who shot Mr. Jarvis.  An exhaustive search of the surrounding area by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and Tuckerton Police Department, was unsuccessful in locating Rutter in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.  As such, a warrant was issued for Rutter’s arrest charging him with Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), as well as Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4a(1).

On January 28, 2021, Rutter was ultimately located in Atlantic City and taken into custody, without incident, by the United States Marshals Service.  He is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

“I am extremely thankful for the outstanding teamwork exhibited by all the law enforcement agencies involved in locating Rutter.  This is a prime example of law enforcement at its best, with our partners at the local, county, state, and federal levels coming together – working tirelessly for more than three weeks – to capture a fugitive from justice. Their collaboration and perseverance certainly paid off today, as Rutter is now lodged in the Ocean County Jail,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.

Prosecutor Billhimer would like to acknowledge the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Regional SWAT Team, New Jersey State Police, New Jersey State Park Police, United States Marshals Service, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, and Tuckerton Police Department for their collective efforts in connection with this investigation resulting in Rutter’s apprehension.

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.

Carteret Township man charged with voter fraud

January 28, 2021

Published by: Tyler Eckel

CARTERET TOWNSHIP (MIDDLESEX)– Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced today that a
Carteret man has been charged with fraudulent voting.

Frederick Gattuso, 43, of Carteret was arrested without incident and
charged with one count of third-degree fraudulent voting.

Gattuso was charged following an investigation by Detective Ryan Tighe
of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, which determined Gattuso voted
twice in November’s General Election as different people with similar names.
Gattuso is pending an initial appearance in Superior Court on March 4,

The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information is
asked to contact Detective Tighe at (732) 745-4335.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charge against Gattuso is
merely an accusation and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Mercer County Narcotics Task Force Investigation Leads to Three Arrests, 11 Guns and Methamphetamine

January 28, 2021

Published by: Tyler Eckel

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force (MCNTF) concluded a month-long investigation  this week with three arrests and the seizure of 11 guns, high-capacity rifle magazines,  hundreds of rounds of ammunition and approximately $1,000 in methamphetamine,  Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported. 

At approximately 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27, members of the New Jersey  State Police TEAMS Unit, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Mercer County  Sheriff’s Office, the Hamilton Township Police Division, the Trenton Police Department,  the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, under  the command of the prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit, executed a search warrant  for the residence of 255 Route 31 Northbound in Hopewell. During the search warrant  execution, residents Charlene Else and Carmen Morelli were located and detained in the  rear yard. Bobbi Lynn Sensinger, also a resident, was located and detained in the second  floor front bedroom. 

A subsequent search of the residence revealed eight long guns and three handguns,  including a loaded Browning Arms .22 caliber rifle, a loaded Winchester Model 94 3030  lever action rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, a Winchester Model 1917 bolt action rifle, an Iver  Johnson 12-guage single shot shotgun, a Remington Model S12 bolt action .22 caliber  rifle, an Ithaca double barrel 12-gauge shotgun, a Marlin bolt action Model SS 12-gauge

shotgun, a Haus Firearm Company .22 caliber revolver handgun, a loaded Raven Arms  MP-25 handgun and a Para Ha semi-automatic handgun.  

Detectives also seized seven 30-round AR style rifle magazines, hundreds of rounds of  assorted ammunition, 10 grams of methamphetamine with an approximate street value  of $1,000, drug packaging materials and $2,150 in cash. 

Else, 58, Morelli, 45, and Sensinger, 45, were each charged with numerous narcotic- and  weapons-related offenses, and lodged at the Mercer County Correction Center pending  future court proceedings. 

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

Assemblyman Dancer’s “Trunk Fighting” Animal Cruelty Bill Advances

January 28, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Assemblyman Ron Dancer is putting the brakes on an animal cruelty trend that involves locking up dogs in trunks of cars and having them fight to the death. His bill released by the Assembly Agriculture Committee yesterday bans ‘trunk fighting’ and makes it a third-degree animal cruelty offense.
“Pitting two animals against each other in a fight to the death for money is sickening enough. Now these criminals have gone mobile,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “They have taken their gambling rings on the road in order to avoid raids by law enforcement.”
Trunk fighting, which began as a fad in Florida, involves placing two dogs or other animals in the trunk of a car, and then aggravating them with loud music or other measures to provoke them to fight. Bettors wager on which animal will come out alive or the least injured. The fights often last until one of the animals is killed, while any animal that survives is likely to be used again in another fight.
“We have to send a clear message to these criminals that New Jersey has no tolerance for such depravity. They will face strict penalties if they are caught engaging in this reprehensible act,” said Dancer. 
Dancer’s bill (A3231) criminalizes the conduct of trunk fighting, making offenses punishable by fines up to $15,000 and three to five years in prison.

Burlington Township Doctor Sentenced To 33 Months In Prison For $24 Million Telemedicine Scheme

January 28, 2021

NEWARK, N.J. – A Burlington County, New Jersey, doctor was sentenced today to 33 months in prison for his role in a telemedicine scheme to prescribe expensive compounded medications to patients who did not need them, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Bernard Ogon, 48, of Burlington Township, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court to one count of health care fraud conspiracy. Judge Vazquez imposed the sentence today by videoconference.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Ogon admitted he signed prescriptions for compounded medications (medications with ingredients of a drug tailored to the needs of a particular patient) without having established a doctor-patient relationship, spoken to the patient or conducted any medical evaluation. Ogon often signed preprinted prescription forms – with patient information and medication already filled out – where all that was required was his signature. Then, instead of providing the prescription to the patient, Ogon would return the prescriptions to specific compounding pharmacies involved in the conspiracy. Ogon was paid $20 to $30 for each prescription he signed, and his participation in the conspiracy caused losses to health care benefit programs of over $24 million, including losses to government health care programs of over $7 million.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Vazquez sentenced Ogon to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $24.3 million and forfeiture of $75,000.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty, and special agents of the Department of Health and Human Services, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Jason S. Gould, Acting Chief of the Violent Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.


Defense counsel: Daniel M. Rosenberg Esq., Mount Holly, New Jersey

Edison And Toms River Residents Arrested And Charged In $4.5 Million Health Care Fraud Conspiracy

January 28, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) – Three New Jersey residents were arrested today for allegedly participating in a long-running scheme to defraud the New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Fund (TBI Fund), a publicly funded health care benefit program, of more than $4.5 million, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Harry Pizutelli, 62, of Edison, New Jersey, and C.R. Kraus, 55, and Maritza Flores, 43, both of Toms River, New Jersey were arrested by special agents of the FBI and IRS this morning and are charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. They are scheduled to appear later today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

The TBI Fund is a publicly funded program run by the New Jersey Division of Disability Services, a component of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. The TBI Fund’s purpose is to provide New Jersey residents who have suffered a traumatic brain injury with services and support in order to maximize their quality of life when funding from insurance, personal resources, or other programs is unavailable to meet their needs. Services funded by the TBI Fund include physical, occupational, and speech therapy; service coordination; assistive technology; cognitive therapy; neuropsychological services; pharmaceuticals; wheelchair ramp installation and other home modifications; and general home management and maintenance.

After a prospective patient applies for services, TBI Fund personnel review the application and, if approved, the patient is authorized to secure designated services from a third-party vendor. Once a patient receives services approved by the TBI Fund, the vendor or service provider submits an invoice to the TBI Fund for payment. When an invoice is received, TBI Fund personnel review the invoice to ensure that the patient had been approved to receive the services. If the invoice is approved, an internal payment voucher is generated, authorized by TBI Fund personnel, and then submitted to the New Jersey Department of the Treasury for payment, which issues a check directly to the vendor.

Pizutelli was the manager of the TBI Fund and was responsible for the its day-to-day operation. He supervised, managed, and oversaw the process by which third-party vendors were paid for services rendered to eligible TBI Fund patients. From 2009 through June 2019, Pizutelli, Kraus, Flores, and others conspired to defraud the TBI Fund by misappropriating more than $4.5 million in fraudulent vendor payments for purported services that were never actually provided. Pizutelli orchestrated the distribution of fraudulent vendor payments to Kraus, Flores, and others by generating and processing false invoices and internal payment vouchers. Pizutelli generated these invoices and vouchers to give the appearance that Kraus, Flores, and other conspirators had provided approved services to eligible patients when, in fact, they had not provided any services. Pizutelli then approved and transmitted the internal payment vouchers so that his conspirators received vendor payments even though they had performed no services to eligible patients. Pizutelli orchestrated these fraudulent payments to maintain and further romantic and/or sexual relationships with Flores and other conspirators.

Pizutelli orchestrated the fraudulent payment of more than $4.5 million from the TBI Fund to members of the conspiracy, including more than $4 million in fraudulent distributions to Kraus and Flores, which they used for their own personal benefit and enrichment. To obscure their fraudulent conduct, Kraus and Flores also made material misstatements on their federal income tax returns, by significantly underreporting the income they had derived from the fraudulent scheme.

The health care fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and of $250,000 or twice the gross receipts to the defendants or gross loss sustained by any victims, whichever is greater.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Division, Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., and special agents of the IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, with the investigation leading to the charges. She also thanked the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, Division of Law, and the New Jersey Department of Human Services, for their assistance.

The government is represented by J. Brendan Day, Attorney-in-Charge of the Trenton Branch Office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Defense counsel:
Pizutelli – Benjamin West Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton
Kraus – Bruce L. Throckmorton Esq., Trenton
Flores – Aidan P. O’Connor Esq., Hackensack, New Jersey

Barnegat Man Pleads Guilty To Vehicular Homicide And DWI For March 25, 2020 Fatal Crash In Stafford Twp.

January 27, 2021

STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 27, 2021, Jeydon Lowe, 24, of Barnegat, pled guilty to Vehicular Homicide in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5, before the Honorable Linda G. Baxter, J.S.C.  At the time of sentencing on March 19, 2021, the State will be recommending a term of seven years New Jersey State Prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.  Additionally, Lowe pled guilty to Driving While Intoxicated in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.

On March 25, 2020, at approximately 5:30 p.m., members of the Stafford Township Police Department responded to a single vehicle crash on Stafford Avenue near Hilliard Boulevard. An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Stafford Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt operated by Lowe was traveling eastbound on Stafford Avenue at an extremely high rate of speed.  Lowe lost control of the vehicle as he was attempting to navigate a right-hand turn, and consequently crashed into a tree.  A passenger in the front seat of the vehicle, Robert Parlin, 24, of Little Egg Harbor, succumbed to his injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lowe sustained minor injuries and was taken to Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean County Medical Center in Stafford Township. A search warrant was obtained for a draw of his blood. On April 14, 2020, Detectives received the laboratory results from the blood draw which indicated that Lowe had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of nearly .12 percent.  An operator of a motor vehicle is presumed to be over the legal limit for purposes of alcohol consumption where his/her BAC is .08 or greater.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligence of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Schron who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Vehicular Homicide Unit, Stafford Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation which ultimately resulted in Lowe’s guilty plea.

Lakewood Man Pleads Guilty To Robbery

January 27, 2021

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 27, 2021, Elioenai Aguinaga, 32, of Lakewood, pled guilty to Robbery in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1a(2), before the Honorable Rochelle Gizinski, J.S.C.  At the time of his sentencing on March 24, 2021, the State will be seeking a term of eight years New Jersey State Prison, subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.

On March 26, 2020, Officers of the Lakewood Township Police Department were summoned to Taylor’s Pharmacy on Madison Avenue for a report of a robbery. Responding Officers learned that a male suspect had entered the pharmacy, brandished a semi-automatic handgun at the store clerk, and demanded money from the cash register. The suspect took approximately $130 and fled the pharmacy.

A subsequent investigation by the Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau ultimately determined that Aguinaga was, in fact, the individual who committed the robbery at Taylor’s Pharmacy on March 26th.  On April 25, 2020, Aguinaga was arrested by Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department, processed at Lakewood Township Police Headquarters, and transported to the Ocean County Jail – where he has been lodged since his apprehension.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligence of Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the hard work and determination exhibited by Officers of the Lakewood Township Police Department and Detective Bureau in their investigation of this matter which ultimately resulted in Aguinaga’s guilty plea.

Iron Mikes Strong: “Please save our school, Trenton Catholic Academy, from closing”

January 27, 2021

See related MidJersey.News’ story here: Trenton Catholic Academy will close its doors in June.

By: Tyler Eckel is seeking help in saving TCA.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– On January 8, 2021, it was announced by the Diocese of Trenton that Trenton Catholic Academy, a Pre-K through 12th grade school, will permanently shut its doors on June 30, 2021.

Trenton Catholic Academy, also known as McCorristin High School and St. Anthony’s High School, have been a cornerstone of Catholic education in the community since its establishment in 1962, with outstanding academics and athletics, a 100% graduation rate, and 100% college acceptance rate. Despite the changing of names, the school’s icon remains the Iron Mike, paying respect to Michael P. McCorristin, the man who built the school with volunteers and contractors, and made it all possible.

“It is a sad day for the Diocese of Trenton, Trenton Catholic Academy (TCA), and Hamilton Township,” said Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin in his statement. “Whether known as Anthony’s, McCorristin, or TCA, there has always been a great partnership between the school and the Township. Hamilton is committed to helping TCA and the Diocese in the months to come. On behalf of the Township, I thank them for their nearly 60 years of providing a high quality, well-rounded education to those in our greater Hamilton community,” Martin continued.

The school has sent many of their students to top colleges and universities. Iron Mike alumni have gone on to prestigious careers and several have advanced to play professional sports. “Most importantly, the school has succeeded in meeting the hopes of the school’s late founding president St. Joseph Sister Dorothy Payne, who wanted her students to be: ‘Good kids that live good lives that make the world a better place,'” Diocese of Trenton said in a statement. is seeking your help to help save the school.

The group is made up of alumni, administrators, coaches, business people, and supporters. is available now to accept tax-deductible donations. “We are asking for your financial support, or better yet, your investment in the future of our children and our world. A united group of alumni, administrators, coaches, business professionals and supporters are currently working on a detailed plan to keep the doors open for many years to come. Please help by donating to Your gift to the Iron Mikes Fund provides the financial means to keep our school open as an independent school. This will help our students to continue to excel in academics, athletics and overall student life. Your contribution will have far reaching rewards into the future,” told MidJersey.News. would like to thank donors in advance for your careful consideration and tax-deductible pledge to save their school.

BREAKING: One dead in Ewing house fire

January 27, 2021

Published by: Tyler Eckel

EWING TOWNSHIP (MERCER): Around 12:40 Wednesday afternoon, Ewing Police and Ewing Fire Department responded to 133 Beacon Avenue after received a call from a delivery driver reporting some coming from a house.

Officers arrived on scene to find heavy smoke coming from the residence and were quickly alerted by a neighbor that a resident was inside. From there, Officers immediately entered the house, but were driven back to do the heavy fire conditions.

While responding to the scene, a Ewing Township fire officer received the update from police and called the “All hands,” sending additional manpower, fire equipment, and additional EMS/paramedics to the scene.

Within minutes of Ewing firefighters arriving to the scene, they located a man deceased inside of the burning home. The fire was placed under control at approximately 1:03 pm.

Ewing Police detectives and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office are currently investigating the cause of the fire. The identity of the victim has not yet been determined.

Dancer proposes constitutionally dedicating Horizon payments to reduce premiums for policyholders

January 27, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The $1.25 billion Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey must pay New Jersey over the next 18 years needs to be used to reduce premiums, says Assemblyman Ron Dancer. The lawmaker recently introduced a constitutional amendment to guarantee lower health insurance costs for policyholders. 

“Unless the annual assessments are constitutionally dedicated, they could be raided through the budget process to pay for unrelated things because the annual appropriations bill can override any statutory dedication of funds,” explained Dancer (R-Ocean). “We have to learn a lesson from diversions such as the use of energy bill taxes to pay for New Jersey Transit rather than true clean energy initiatives as intended. We must put the money in a constitutional lock box so that it can’t be used to balance the budget or for pet projects.”

New Jersey’s largest health insurer is required to make payments to the state, including $600 million this year, as part of legislation Gov. Phil Murphy recently signed allowing Horizon to transition from a not-for-profit business entity to a not-for-profit mutual holding company.

“Nearly half of the money happens to arrive in an election year,” said Dancer. “The $600 million can certainly make for a more electorate-pleasing budget, especially when there is less revenue due to Covid and business restrictions. The public will only be made more cynical about government priorities if we blow this windfall on new spending instead of dedicating it to help the 3.6 million Horizon members who paid it in the first place.”

If Dancer’s proposed constitutional amendment (ACR207) is advanced by the Legislature, voters would need to approve it during the following election. 

“Neither this year’s payment nor the 17 following assessments are dedicated to any specific use whatsoever,” said Dancer. “We should be lowering the costs of health insurance for Horizon’s policyholders, not letting the state cash a check worth $1.25 billion dollars that it can spend at a whim.”

Dancer’s resolution has been referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.