Day: February 26, 2021

Man robs Subway at knifepoint after ordering a sandwich

February 26, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Police are investigating a robbery that occurred at the Subway on Route 33 in Hamilton

The robbery occurred sometime after 7:00 pm on February 26. Hamilton Police were detailed to the Subway located at 233 Route 33 on a robbery investigation. Responding officers were met by a juvenile employee who advised officers that he was robbed by a white male that brandished a knife. After ordering a sandwich, the suspect displayed a knife and demanded money from the cash register. After taking the money, the suspect fled the store on foot down Route 33 towards Nottingham Way.

The suspect is described as a white male, 5’8” tall, wearing a gray winter jacket, black pants, tan ski cap, white button up shirt, gloves and a surgical mask.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident or can identify the suspect is asked to contact Detective Joseph Ialacci at (609) 689-5822 or via email at The public can also leave a message on the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.

UPDATE: Gun discharged during robbery in Hamilton

February 26, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

See MidJersey.News’ related breaking news story here: Hamilton Police investigating possible shooting

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)— On February 26, Hamilton Police were detailed to the unit block of Coral Drive on a robbery investigation that included a firearm being discharged.

Police received multiple 911 calls just after 4:00 pm stating a person on Coral Drive pulled out a gun and shot it. Responding officers were met by a male and female victim that reported they were approached by a black male suspect armed with a handgun, as they were exiting their vehicle. The male suspect demanded money and a backpack from the victims. During the course of the struggle, the gun was discharged, and the male suspect, along with a second suspect towards Alton Road.

Neither of the victims sustained gunshot injuries, however one of the victims was assaulted by the suspect.

The first suspect was described as a black male, 5’8” tall, wearing a black hoodie, gray face mask, and displayed a semi-automatic handgun.

The second suspect was described as a taller black male, wearing a tan or yellow hoodie, and a black face mask.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Nicholas Schulte of Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at (609)689-5825. Detective Schulte can also be contacted via email at The public can also contact the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609)581-4001.

Hamilton Police investigating possible shooting

February 26, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

See MidJersey.News’ updated article here: UPDATE: Gun discharged during robbery in Hamilton

BREAKING NEWS REPORT: This is a breaking news report from on scene information, radio reports, and sources. Once official information is available, the story will be updated.

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Police are investigating a possible shooting that occured in the unit block of Coral Drive just after 4:00 pm this afternoon.

Officers responded to Coral Drive near Alton Road after multiple 911 callers stated a person pulled a gun out and shot it. No one was shot in the shooting, but one man was whipped with the weapon. EMS responded to the scene and the victim was treated for his injuries.

It is not yet confirmed if the gun was discharged or not.

This incident remains under investigation by Hamilton Police Division.

RWJUH Hamilton Launches Post-COVID-19 Recovery Program

February 26, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (RWJUH) Hamilton, 1 Hamilton Health Place, Hamilton, NJ, now offers a post-COVID-19 recovery program through its rehabilitative therapy services. The program uses the latest research to help patients recuperate from COVID-19. This three-phase program is customized to each patient to help them regain strength and functional abilities following COVID-19.

Telehealth and in-person treatments are available for physical, occupational and speech therapy. The team evaluates each patient’s needs and goals for their post-COVID-recovery and also screen for other needs with which RWJUH Hamilton can provide support.

The program includes physical therapy to reduce weakness, to improve breathing, gait and balance, and to build endurance. Occupational therapy helps patients to become more able to independently complete activities of daily living and cognitive rehabilitation and speech therapy focus on swallowing and speech difficulties.

The post-COVID-19 physical therapy rehab program is offered at RWJUH Hamilton’s Columbus, Ewing, Hamilton, Howell, Lawrenceville and Windsor rehab services locations; speech and occupational therapy for the COVID-19 rehab program is offered at select offices. For more information or to schedule a consultation for a location convenient for you, call 877-342-2795 or visit

Located in Hamilton Township, NJ, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, serves communities within a five-county area and includes an acute care hospital, cancer center, affiliated medical group, Lakeview Child Centers and the RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center. RWJBarnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, in partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – brings a world class team of researchers and specialists to fight alongside you, providing close-to-home access to the latest treatment and clinical trials. For more information, visit us at and follow the hospital on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Hamilton Township to Receive $6.8 Million in School Aid for Fiscal Year 2022

February 26, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– In response to the State’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal including $6.86 million in K-12 school aid funding for Hamilton Township – a 9.1% increase from Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 21), State and local leaders provided the following statements:

In response to the increased aid, Hamilton School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Rocco stated, “The Hamilton Township School District is appreciative of the recent announcement of increased state aid funding to our schools.  This additional funding will allow us to continue to invest in our students academically and support our students socially, and emotionally as we turn the corner on the global COVID-19 pandemic.  As a district, a town, and a community we are grateful for the commitment of these dollars to our students and our schools. In addition, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to our local, county, and state partners who’ve worked to make this come to fruition.” 

“There is no greater investment than an investment in education,” commented Mayor Jeff Martin. “This significant increase in funding will aid Hamilton Schools to continue to safely and effectively educate our children as we continue through this pandemic.”

“With COVID-19 hitting our communities hard, we must ensure that school districts not only have the resources to protect students and staff from spreading and contracting COVID-19, but also to continue to deliver the quality education inherent in New Jersey public schools,” said Senator Linda Greenstein. “I am excited to see this large increase in funding for the Hamilton School District and will continue to fight for the resources needed to support our community.”

“We have long advocated that large suburban school districts like Hamilton deserve more state funding, given the many needs and challenges they have faced, made even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Assemblyman Daniel Benson.  “I am pleased that the Governor’s budget includes over $6 million more in aid to meet the needs of our children, while providing tax relief to Hamilton’s seniors and families.”

“In a time where our students have been receiving instruction remotely, it is important now more than ever that our schools are supported,” said Asm. DeAngelo. “I join my colleagues Senator Greenstein, Assemblyman Benson and Mayor Martin in celebrating the announcement of $6.8 million being directed towards the Hamilton Township school district. Our students and families will certainly benefit from this funding.”

National leader of outlaw motorcycle gang charged with illegally possessing a firearm

February 26, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

NEWARK– A Suffolk County, New York, man was arrested today for illegally possessing a firearm, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Keith Richter, aka “Conan,” 62, of Bay Shore, New York, is charged by criminal complaint with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is scheduled to appear by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer.

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

Richter is the national president of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, an outlaw motorcycle gang known by law enforcement to engage in illegal activity, including narcotics trafficking, weapons trafficking, and violent crimes.

On February 20, 2021, the Pagans hosted a party in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While Richter was traveling home from the party late at night, he was stopped by law enforcement officers in Mercer County, New Jersey. Officers recovered a loaded Ruger P345 .45 caliber handgun from the vehicle.

Richter was previously convicted of felony offenses, including conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering and attempted assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, for which he served 16 years in prison.

The count of being a felon in possession of a weapon carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson in Newark; special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson; the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Timothy D. Sini; the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to these charges.

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

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Frazer, R. Joseph Gribko, and Samantha C. Fasanello, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Governor Murphy Signs Landmark Legislation to Permanently Establish the Community College Opportunity Grant Program

February 26, 2021

New Law Will Continue to Guarantee Tuition-Free Community College Education to More than 50,000 New Jersey Students Each Academic Year 

Fulfilling his promise to make tuition-free community college a reality, Governor Phil Murphy today signed A4410, permanently establishing the Community College Opportunity Grant Program (CCOG), which will allow qualified students to attend any New Jersey community college without tuition or educational fees.  

“For far too long, higher education has been out of reach for countless New Jerseyans due to its high cost,” said Governor Murphy. “Today’s bill signing underscores our continued commitment to college affordability, ensuring that our young people and working adults have the opportunity to earn post-secondary degrees and advance their promising careers.”

“Today represents a huge win for college affordability and a transformative moment in our state’s history. In the years to come, CCOG will continue offering thousands more eligible students equitable access to a college education for free,” said Dr. Brian Bridges, Secretary of Higher Education. “To emerge stronger and fairer from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are investing in future generations today by expanding affordable options to ensure students’ lifelong success.” 

“New Jersey now sends a clear message: county college is tuition-free for students with family incomes of $65,000 or below,” said David Socolow, Executive Director of the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). “Governor Murphy has enabled HESAA to back up that promise by filling students’ remaining financial aid gaps with more than 25,000 Community College Opportunity Grants since the spring 2019 semester. The impact of this commitment reaches still further, by making an up-front, tuition-free price guarantee that enables tens of thousands of additional students to focus on their postsecondary education without concern about paying the tuition sticker price. Many students can now consider enrolling in college with full confidence that their entire county college tuition will be covered by the State of New Jersey. By raising awareness that college is more affordable, we can encourage more students to pursue courses of study that will enhance their lives and careers here in the Garden State.”   

CCOG, which will be administered by the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), will provide last-dollar grants to eligible county college students for those tuition costs and fees not already covered by any other State, federal, and institutional need-based grants and merit scholarships. Students with adjusted gross incomes of $65,000 or less will be eligible to receive this financial grant for a total of five (5) semesters. This legislation also directs the Legislature to appropriate funding for the “Student Success Incentive” to the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, for distribution to each county college. This funding will be used to support outreach and student success initiatives to further the goals of the CCOG grant program.

Since taking office, the Murphy Administration has taken meaningful steps toward tuition-free community college. The CCOG grant program was first enacted through budget language in the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations act. The grant program received a $20 million appropriation in Fiscal Year 2019 and a $25 million appropriation in Fiscal Year 2020. The appropriation to the grant program for the Fiscal Year 2020 three-month budget extension totaled $10 million and the appropriation in the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations act for the nine-month period was also $10 million, making the total financial aid funding for that 12-month period $20 million. For the current Fiscal Year budget of 2022, the Governor has proposed $27 million to support the CCOG grant program. 

“County colleges have long played a vital role in educating students from working-class families across New Jersey. By providing ‘last dollar’ financial aid to eligible students, we will make sure they have every opportunity to graduate without having to take on burdensome student loans,” said Senator Sandra Cunningham, chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “I am grateful to see this meaningful initiative codified into law, ensuring it will continue to help low-income New Jerseyans for many years to come.” 

“The Community College Opportunity Grant Program has provided valuable opportunities for low-income students and working parents to advance their education and expand their career opportunities. It represents a monumental step towards a more equitable higher education landscape by ensuring an associate’s degree is accessible to all New Jersey residents regardless of their economic status,” said Senator Teresa Ruiz, chair of the Senate Education Committee. “Education is our greatest equalizer and today, by codifying this program into state law, we have assured that it will be available to all who need it in the years to come.”

“The rising costs of college tuition, books and fees are often out of reach for many college students and their families,” said Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, and Assemblyman Daniel Bensonin a joint statement. “A college degree has become the standard for entry into many industries and workplaces, but too many students must take on enormous debt in pursuit of higher education and a successful career. The Community College Opportunity Grant closes the gap for middle class and low-income students, helping to balance costs not covered by State and federal aid. It makes college more affordable and accessible for students who may not otherwise be able to further their education. We’ve already seen this program’s outstanding potential to open doors for students across New Jersey. We are proud this new State law will benefit future generations.” 

“CCOG is an important investment in our students and in our state’s economic future. The program has the potential of transforming the lives of a generation of New Jersey residents,” said Assemblyman Nicholas A. Chiaravalloti. “This tuition scholarship program supports our most vulnerable residents, for whom a college education is unaffordable. CCOG not only assists individuals in earning a degree or credential, but also builds a skilled workforce that will close critical skills gaps in our state. As someone who works in higher education, I have seen the incredible benefit of the CCOG program. At Hudson County Community College (HCCC), I am constantly amazed by the perseverance of the students who attend. They come to class every day prepared and ready to learn, and I have found that this has not changed even though we have switched to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They serve as a daily inspiration. CCOG will help remove a barrier to their success.”

“As a result of this investment, thousands of New Jerseyans are able to embark on career pathways, to prepare for jobs that pay family-supporting wages, and to contribute directly to the state’s economic growth and recovery,” said Aaron Fichtner, President of New Jersey Council of County Colleges.

“Our Hudson County Community College family is honored to welcome Governor Murphy to our campus for the signing of Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) legislation that will permanently fund this vital financial aid program,” said Dr. Chris Reber, President of Hudson County Community College (HCCC). “We thank the Governor, our state and local officials, HCCC Trustees, students, alumni, friends, and colleagues. CCOG is an investment in the people of our communities and their dreams. The program is providing life-changing opportunities for students to acquire postsecondary educational credentials that open doors to fulfilling careers with family-sustaining wages. We are exceedingly grateful to Governor Murphy for his leadership and support for CCOG and New Jersey’s 18 community colleges.”

Mercer County Homicide Task Force seizes $40,000 in heroin, cocaine

February 26, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

TRENTON (MERCER)– The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force concluded a two-month investigation this week with one arrest and the seizure $40,000 in drugs, $17,000 in cash, and a handgun, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

At approximately 5:25 a.m. on Thursday, February 25, 2021, members of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Hamilton 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 at an apartment at 113 Centre Street in Trenton.  The target of the investigation, Frederick Hostick, was located in the rear bedroom and detained.  A subsequent search of the apartment revealed 76 bricks of heroin, 20 grams of crack cocaine, a loaded Glock .40 caliber handgun with an extended magazine, and $17,160 in cash.

Onofri stated that seized heroin has approximate street value of $38,000 and the seized cocaine, approximately $2,000. 

Hostick, 37, was 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.