Day: January 19, 2021

UPDATED: Man Stabbed On South Broad Street Near Liberty Street

Updated January 20, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–According to Captain Peter Weremijenko, on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at approximately 9:31 pm, Trenton Police Officers J. Rose and S. Demko responded to 1200 S. Broad Street on a report of a stabbing in progress. While en-route to the location, the dispatcher relayed further information stating that a victim was inside the liquor store with a stab wound and that unknown suspects attempted to rob him.

Upon arrival, Officers were able to ascertain from the victim that he was walking near the area of Liberty Street and Adeline Street, when he was approached by 3-5 males, all wearing dark colored clothing. One of the males struck the victim in the back of the head and stabbed him about the right side of his body with what he believed to be a knife. The suspects relieved the victim of $50 dollars and fled the scene in an unknown direction. The victim was able to run from the scene and contact police. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries. 

January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–There were reports of a stabbing tonight in the 1200 Block of South Broad Street near Liberty Street around 9:30 pm. Sources said a man was found stabbed in the side and a group of individuals were on scene trying to control the bleeding. Sources also said that the main was hit over the head and stabbed for $50.00 Trenton EMS and Trenton Police responded to the scene. The main was taken to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. No other information is available at this time. If official police information becomes available the story will be updated.

New Jersey Files Nine New Lawsuits Challenging Trump Administration’s Last Minute Environmental Rollbacks

January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–On President Trump’s last full day in office, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that New Jersey has filed nine new lawsuits challenging a series of environmental rollbacks rushed through during the waning days of the Trump Administration. The announcement comes on the heels of a major litigation victory, in which a federal appeals court agreed with New Jersey that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acted unlawfully in 2019 when it repealed the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan for addressing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The nine lawsuits announced today touch on issues including protections for clean air, energy efficiency requirements for appliances, and measures to protect migratory birds and endangered wildlife species.

All nine challenges to the Trump Administration’s “midnight rules” are being pursued by coalitions of states that share New Jersey’s commitment to protecting the environment and public health. Attorney General Grewal is leading one of the six lawsuits, which challenges a rule that weakens Clean Air Act protections for major sources of emissions.

“The environmental impacts of the Trump Administration’s lame duck rulemaking will be devastating if all of these rules remain in place,” said Attorney General Grewal. “So last week, we promised that the last-minute rules would not go unchecked. With today’s lawsuits, we’re making good on that commitment. Between these lawsuits and the policy changes expected in the Biden Administration, the Trump Administration’s environmentally disastrous actions won’t last long.”

“We will not allow Trump loyalists to continue to undermine science and threaten our State’s and nation’s air, water and wildlife in the waning hours of this Administration,” said Shawn M.  LaTourette, Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “While we are confident that brighter days are ahead for environmental protection, New Jersey will continue to join our sister states in fighting the short-sighted Trump legacy of environmental ignorance and degradation.”

The federal rules challenged in the nine environmental protection lawsuits filed by Attorney General Grewal since Friday, January 15, are:

An EPA rule that will allow major sources of hazardous air pollutants to reclassify themselves as less regulated “area sources” under the Clean Air Act, abandoning the “once-in, always-in” policy that had been in place for 25 years. Among other things, the state attorneys general contend that the rule increases Americans’ risk of cancer and other serious health problems traceable to hazardous air pollutants like cyanide and hydrochloric acid by reducing the number of pollution sources using maximum available control technology; violates the Clean Air Act and the Administrative Procedure Act; and is unsupported by the necessary evidence and analysis. The petition for review on behalf of 13 states and the cities of New York and Chicago was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

An EPA rule on greenhouse gas emission standards for airplanes that fails to adequately mitigate public health and environmental harms from such emissions, including the environmental justice impacts on residents living near airports, which disproportionately include disadvantaged minority and low-income communities. Among other things, the attorneys general have argued that EPA’s rule does not reflect a reasonable assessment of aircraft-related pollution and the technological feasibility of more effective emissions controls. The petition for review on behalf of 12 States and the District of Columbia was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

An EPA rule maintaining the national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone at a level that fails to protect public health and welfare based on the existing scientific evidence. State attorneys general have alleged that the EPA’s decision not to strengthen the primary or secondary ozone NAAQS is the result of a flawed and hasty process that gave short shrift to the evidence showing that more protective standards are necessary to protect human health and public welfare. The petition for review on behalf of 15 states, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit/

An EPA rule that will skew how the agency weighs the costs and benefits of rules under the Clean Air Act by excluding important public health benefits from the analysis while inflating the costs. In particular, the rule will cause future EPA rules to undercount the harmful effects of carbon emissions that lead to climate change and distort the value of “co-benefits,” the often-substantial benefits of rules that addresses more than one pollutant. Among other flaws, this biased approach is contrary to EPA’s core mission to protect human health and the environment, as well as to economic principles and the legal requirement that EPA base its standards on the best available information. The petition for review on behalf of 17 States, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

An EPA rule weakening the Clean Air Act’s new source review program for major modifications to existing major stationary sources of emissions. The rule will subject New Jersey residents to lower air quality and will make it more difficult for downwind States like New Jersey to attain or maintain federal air quality standards. The petition for review on behalf of seven states and the District of Columbia was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Rules from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service that will make it harder to protect endangered and threatened species by narrowly defining critical “habitat” and establishing a skewed process for excluding areas from critical habitat designations. The lawsuit alleges that the rules violate the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act; lack a reasoned explanation; and violate procedural requirements for rulemaking, among other flaws. The complaint on behalf of 18 States and the City of New York was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

A rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that rolls back protections for migratory birds. The lawsuit alleges that the rule will increase the risk of death for birds that migrate within and through New Jersey and other States, depriving residents of scientific, recreational, and birdwatching opportunities, and undermining the ecological balance that the birds help maintain, including by controlling insects and rodents, pollinating, and dispersing seeds. The complaint on behalf of 12 States was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and alleges that the rule violates the Endangered Species Act, other laws, and principles of international comity.

An EPA rule that unlawfully and arbitrarily limits the scientific evidence that the agency can consider when adopting rules and standards to protect human health and the environment. Rather than enhance the integrity of EPA’s regulations, the rule undermines EPA’s core responsibilities to implement environmental laws through use of the “latest,” “generally accepted,” and “best available” science. The lawsuit alleges that in adopting the rule, EPA not only violated its duties under those laws but also exceeded its legal authority, acted arbitrarily and capriciously, and impermissibly made the rule effective immediately. The complaint on behalf of 18 states, the cities of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and King County, Washington as filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

A U.S. Department of Energy rule that will weaken federal energy efficiency standards for consumer appliances and industrial equipment by making it easier for manufacturers to obtain waivers from product testing requirements. While national efficiency standards have been highly effective in reducing consumer and industrial energy costs, and reducing the environmental impacts associated with energy production, the new rule will undermine energy efficiency standards to the detriment of consumers and product manufacturers who comply with existing test procedures. State attorneys general contend that the rule violates the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, among other legal flaws. The petition for review on behalf of 14 states, the District of Columbia and the City of New York was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. (Aircraft).pdf (Cost Benefit).pdf Habitat.Complaint.pdf Migratory Birds.pdf


Monmouth County Prosecutor Warns Be Aware Of COVID-19 Scams

Scams Seek Personally Identifiable Information

January 19, 2021

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni is urging residents to beware of becoming victims of COVID-related scams, especially those scams targeting senior and elderly residents.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, scams targeting citizens, in particular the elderly, have taken a new twist and a new sense of urgency. Con artists are calling senior citizens offering early access to the COVID-19 vaccine for some form of payment, offering to ship the vaccine directly to you for a deposit or fee, offering to place you on a waiting list, or offering added medical testing and treatment when obtaining the vaccine. The offers come from scammers pretending to be a doctor’s office, insurance company or COVID-19 vaccine center. The scammer will ask for personal or medical information to determine if you “qualify” for the vaccine. Information sought will often include a social security number, Medicare ID number, date of birth, credit card or bank account information, or other personal information.

“We live in a world where scammers will try anything to get your personal information, medical information, and even your life’s savings using devious tactics. They are willing to pretend to be anyone just to take advantage of you. Please be vigilant – if it seems questionable, then trust your instincts that it is,” warned Prosecutor Gramiccioni.

Other scams are found on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other popular platforms showing ads from unknown sources advertising access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Federal authorities have created a public awareness campaign that includes useful information below to help identify these scams and where to find other information about the schemes.

“The most important piece of advice during this unusual time is to be overly skeptical of any unsolicited offers of any kind, to stay vigilant no matter how convincing the voice on the other side of the phone may be. Just because it is on the internet does not make it safe or true. Do not share personally identifiable information ever over the phone – social security numbers, Medicare ID numbers, your date of birth, credit card or bank account information – obtaining this information to defraud you is the ultimate objective,” Prosecutor Gramiccioni added.

Federal authorities are warning the public about several emerging fraud schemes related to COVID-19 vaccines after receiving complaints of scammers using the public’s interest in COVID-19 vaccines to obtain personally identifiable information and money through various schemes. We continue to work diligently with law enforcement partners and the private sector to identify cyber threats and fraud in all forms.

The public should be aware of the following potential indicators of fraudulent activity:

• Advertisements or offers for early access to a vaccine upon payment of a deposit or fee

• Requests asking you to pay out of pocket to obtain the vaccine or to put your name on a COVID-19 vaccine waiting list

• Offers to undergo additional medical testing or procedures when obtaining a vaccine

• Marketers offering to sell and/or ship doses of a vaccine, domestically or internationally, in exchange for payment of a deposit or fee

• Unsolicited emails, telephone calls, or personal contact from someone claiming to be from a medical office, insurance company, or COVID-19 vaccine center requesting personal and/or medical information to determine recipients’ eligibility to participate in clinical vaccine trials or obtain the vaccine

• Claims of Food and Drug Administration approval for a vaccine that cannot be verified

• Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources

• Individuals contacting you in person, by phone, or by email to tell you the government or government officials require you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

Tips to avoid COVID-19 vaccine-related fraud:

• Consult your state’s health department website for up-to-date information about authorized vaccine distribution channels and only obtaining a vaccine through such channels.

• Check the Food and Drug Administration’s website ( for current information about vaccine emergency use authorizations.

• Consult your primary care physician before undergoing any vaccination.

• Don’t share your personal or health information with anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals.

• Check your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly reporting any errors to your health insurance provider.

• Follow guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other trusted medical professionals.

General online/cyber fraud prevention techniques:

• Verify the spelling of web addresses, websites, and email addresses that look trustworthy but may be imitations of legitimate websites.

• Ensure operating systems and applications are updated to the most current versions.

• Update anti-malware and anti-virus software and conduct regular network scans.

• Do not enable macros on documents downloaded from an email unless necessary and after ensuring the file is not malicious.

• Do not communicate with or open emails, attachments, or links from unknown individuals.

• Never provide personal information of any sort via email; be aware that many emails requesting your personal information may appear to be legitimate.

• Use strong two-factor authentication if possible, using biometrics, hardware tokens, or authentication apps.

• Disable or remove unneeded software applications.

If you believe you have been the victim of a COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to your local police department.

For accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit:

Hamilton Police seeking assistance in locating man missing since August

January 19, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): Hamilton Police are seeking information in regards to a man that hasn’t been seen since August of 2020.

On January 14, 2021, Todd Dekis was reported missing by a family member. The family member told police that they have not seen Dekis since August of 2020. Dekis’ family also reported seeing anonymous Facebook posts suggesting that Dekis may be hospitalized. Police contacted all local hospitals, but Dekis was not located.

Dekis is described as a 35 year old white male, 6’0”, 140 lbs., blue eyes and black hair. It is unknown what Dekis is wearing and the family does not believe he has a cell phone. Dekis may be homeless at this time and may be in the Trenton area.

Anyone with any information regarding the missing person is asked to contact Detective Dan Inman of the Hamilton Police Criminal Investigation’s Section at 609-581-4035 or the the Hamilton Police Division Tip Line at 609-581-4008.

AG Grewal Announces Proposed Rules to Align Juvenile Parole Responsibilities with the Juvenile Justice Commission

January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced proposed changes that, if adopted, would bring more accountability to the youth justice system in New Jersey, transferring juvenile parole responsibilities to the authority of the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) and allowing parole decisions to be made by those who are most closely involved in the day-to-day rehabilitation of youth.

Integrating juvenile parole release authority within the JJC completes the consolidation of executive branch juvenile justice responsibilities originally envisioned when the JJC was legislatively established more than 25 years ago. The proposed rules underscore and reflect New Jersey’s commitment to maintaining a truly separate system of justice between adults and youth. And this shift also joins New Jersey with 32 other states that place release authority with the jurisdiction’s youth corrections agency. Overall, this change allows those who are most closely involved in the day-to-day progress of youth, JJC professional staff, to make and execute decisions regarding parole.

“With today’s proposed rules, our Juvenile Justice Commission continues to push forward towards the systemic transformation of New Jersey’s youth justice system,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Placing release responsibility entirely with the JJC and those most closely involved with our young people ensures that the focus remains on rehabilitation, personal growth, and fairness – priorities that have made New Jersey a leader in youth justice reform.”

 “Every step in the reform of New Jersey’s youth justice system has been carefully implemented to create a fair and just structure that recognizes the individual needs of youth while ensuring consistency and equity in decision-making. The standardized parole processes being put in place by the JJC incentivize prosocial behavior and engagement in rehabilitative programming and increase positive outcomes among youth,” said Jennifer LeBaron, Ph.D., Acting Executive Director of the JJC. “The core principles and data collection requirements that we are embedding in our work will allow us to measure the outcomes of these changes. While there is more work to do, the JJC, in partnership with advocates and stakeholders, is creating a system that is more equitable and transparent and that expands opportunities for growth and success among youth.”

The JJC has implemented a team approach to release decision-making. Staff from various disciplines directly involved with youth assess each youth’s behavior and progress and craft reports that are shared with various partners including the courts, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. These reports, as well as specific recommendations regarding parole, are also provided to a review panel authorized to make parole decisions, in order to create individualized reentry plans and to set release conditions consistent with each youth’s specific circumstances and rehabilitative goals. The panel is comprised of at least two members from the JJC and one member of the State Parole Board.

In order to fully implement this change, the JJC’s Executive Board voted to readopt rules with proposed amendments related to P.L.2019, c.363, signed by Governor Murphy in 2020, which transfers administrative functions related to juvenile parole from the State Parole Board to the JJC. Additionally, the law calls for principles that include utilizing objective criteria, processes, and tools to be incorporated into the juvenile justice system and specifically requires such objective processes to be used to determine the length of time a juvenile should remain in custody. This system will enhance fairness and consistency in decision-making, as youth displaying similar behaviors will receive similar parole outcomes.

The JJC’s Office of Juvenile Parole and Transitional Services provides supervision and support to youth once released from custody, assisting them with enrolling back into school, finding employment, and connecting with appropriate counseling and related services, in accordance with the individualized reentry plan. Youth and their families are active partners in the community reentry planning process.

The transformation of New Jersey’s juvenile justice system has earned the JJC national acclaim and made New Jersey a model state for youth justice reform.

Comprehensive reform includes:

  • a reduction of approximately 80% in the use of secure detention as the result of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), a nationally recognized reform effort;
  • a drop of almost 90% in the number of youth of color in the detention center population since the implementation of JDAI;
  • the designation of New Jersey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation as a Model Site for other states seeking to implement statewide reform;
  • a reduction of 80% in the number of Court-ordered commitments of juvenile offenders to JJC custody, resulting in the virtual elimination of reliance on incarceration with the JJC for minor offenses;
  • the closure of one non-secure facility and downsized staffing at its secure facilities, with significant budget savings; and
  • supporting a statewide Attorney General Directive to law enforcement to divert juveniles away from law enforcement and toward social or familial support whenever possible.

The proposed new rules, which were published in the NJ Register on December 21, 2020, are now subject to public comment.

The proposal, and information on how to submit a comment by February 19, 2021, can be found here.

The JJC was established in 1995 to serve as the single agency of State government with centralized authority for planning, policy development, and provision of services in the juvenile justice system. The JJC is committed to implementing and promoting policies and practices that improve outcomes for young people involved with the juvenile justice system, their families, and their communities.

The JJC’s three primary responsibilities are providing care, custody, and rehabilitative services to youth committed to the agency by the courts, supervising and coordinating services for youth released from custody on parole, and supporting local efforts to provide prevention and early intervention services to at-risk and court-involved youth.

Across a continuum of care, which includes secure care facilities, residential community homes, and community-based parole and transitional services, the JJC provides programming, supports, and opportunities designed to help youth grow and thrive and to become independent, productive, and law-abiding citizens.

BREAKING: Serious Crash Involving Pedestrian In Lawrence Township

January 19, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A serious crash involving a Nissan Murano and a pedestrian occurred at the intersection of Princeton Avenue and Spruce Street sometime before 8:30 am. Lawrence Township Police, Lawrence EMS and Capital Health Paramedics responded to the scene. The person was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. The Lawrence Township Fire Department responded to help clean up and wash down the accident scene.

Information contained in this story is breaking news and from on scene reporting, witnesses and radio traffic. An email was sent to Lawrence Township Police for official press information once received the story will be updated and any corrections and additions made.

65 Year Old Long Branch Teacher Arrested in Manalapan for Endangering the Welfare of a Child

January 19, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A 65-year-old science teacher at Long Branch Middle School was arrested this morning and charged with one count of third-degree attempted endangering the welfare of a child, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported. 

Jesse Rosenbaum was taken into custody during a motor vehicle stop near his home in Manalapan by detectives with the prosecutor’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit and Special Victims Unit (SVU).  He is being held in the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing.

Rosenbaum was the subject of a recent ICAC investigation into the sexual exploitation of children online.  The investigation revealed he was soliciting underage males online to participate in sexual acts and also sexual conversation.  The complaint alleges Rosenbaum engaged in sexually explicit emails, text messages and phone conversations with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old male.

The investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information on this investigation should contact Sgt. Joe Paglione of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at (609) 273-0065.

Two Killed In Route 9 Crash

January 19, 2021

Update Gofundme accounts of Ramirez and Rochford are located at these links:

Jonathan Ramirez Memorial Fund

Justin Rochford Memorial Fund

MANALAPAN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–At approximately 9:31 p.m. on Saturday January 16, Manalapan police responded to a single motor vehicle crash on Route 9 North, just south of Smallwood Lane. The investigation by the Monmouth County SCART Team and Manalapan Police Department revealed that a 2004 Infiniti G35, was travelling northbound when the driver lost control and left the roadway. The vehicle collided with a curb, utility pole and a guiderail, prior to coming to a final stop in a wooded area approximately 100 yards from where the vehicle left the roadway.

There were 2 occupants in the vehicle, the driver, Jonathan Ramirez, 20, and Justin Rochford, 20, both of Spotswood. Rochford was pronounced dead on the scene. Ramirez was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced deceased, at 1:24 a.m.

If anyone witnessed the crash, please contact Monmouth County Detective Kristian DeVito at 800-533-7443 or Manalapan Police Department Patrolman Matthew Porricelli or Detective Dominic Donatelli at 732-446-4300