HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Police are investigating a serious motor vehicle crash that killed one, and injured three others, Tuesday afternoon.
The crash occurred around 3:16 pm. According to police, a Hyundai Elantra, driven by Charles Bonhage, a 63-year-old Ewing resident, was traveling northbound on Buttonwood Street, when he attempted to cross over Nottingham Way to enter the Walmart parking lot. As Bonhage attempted to cross Nottingham Way, he struck a 2007 Honda Odyssey, driven by Zyasia Williams, 22-year-old Trenton resident. After the collision, the Honda Odyssey left the roadway and struck a tree.
Hamilton Fire Department responded to the scene for two individuals that were heavily trapped inside the Honda Odyssey. They extricated the driver of the vehicle, as well as the front seat passenger, a 30-year-old female from Trenton. The passenger suffered very serious injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Three others were transported to the Trauma Center with “trauma alerts” called. The condition of the injured occupants is unknown.
This crash remains under investigation and is being investigated by Officer Jeffrey Galant. Police ask any witnesses to contact the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit at 609-581-4000. Information may also be left anonymously on the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today that following an extensive budget review with the N.J. Department of Community Affairs (DCA), his administration has developed an amended budget that will not increase taxes for the 2021 fiscal year.
“I hear from community members every day about the difficulties posed by the pandemic, and how the last thing they need is another tax increase,” said Mayor Gusciora. “Our City Council echoed those sentiments. Well, we heard you loud and clear. We spent the last month working closely with DCA to look for more efficiencies in each department budget. Thankfully, with that hard work, along with critical support from Lieutenant Governor Oliver and Director Suarez, we’ve been able to amend the budget so that there is no property tax increase on Trenton residents this year. While we cannot expand many city services at this time, we’re optimistic that substantial federal funding that is already on its way will help mitigate our shortfalls in the future.”
Property taxes have increased in Trenton during 25 of the last 29 years. Instead of an approximate two percent increase as outlined in the initial budget presented earlier this year, this amended version has no tax increase at all.
This amended budget will be presented before City Council at tonight’s meeting and will be available to view online later this week. If adopted by the April 1, 2021 deadline, tax bills will go out on time, which will help the City avoid some of the delays that impacted this year’s budget.
BREAKING NEWS REPORT: This report is based from radio reports, on scene information, and sources. Once official information is available, the post will be updated.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– Hamilton Police are investigating a serious crash that left several with serious injuries, Tuesday afternoon.
The crash occurred around 3:15 pm in front of the Walmart on Nottingham Way. A Hyundai sedan and a Honda minivan collided, sending the minivan into a tree. Hamilton Fire Department responded to the scene for reported people trapped in the vehicles. Crews arrived with two people heavily trapped inside of one vehicle, and went to work on extrications.
Multiple ambulances from Robert Wood Johnson, Lawrence, Ewing, and Capital Health responded to the scene. At least four people were seriously injured in the crash.
Hamilton Police are investigating. Nottingham Way between Donald Drive and Klockner Road remains shut down for investigation.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Middlesex County, New Jersey, man today admitted attempting to interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder when he attempted to set fire to a police vehicle during a riot in Trenton, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Justin D. Spry, 22, of South Plainfield, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with one count of attempting to obstruct, impede, or interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder affecting commerce.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On May 31, 2020, large-scale protests were held throughout the United States, including in Trenton, in response to the death of George Floyd. Although the May 31st protest in Trenton was peaceful earlier in the day, violence erupted later. A group of individuals proceeded down East State Street in downtown Trenton and began to riot, smashing store fronts, looting stores, and attacking multiple marked Trenton Police Department vehicles parked on the 100 Block of East State Street.
A City of Trenton street camera and other video footage taken by an individual present on the street captured Kadeem Dockery light an explosive device and throw it through the open front driver’s side window of a Trenton Police Department vehicle. Dockery then removed his shirt and handed it to Killian Melecio, who then attempted to stuff the shirt in the gas tank of the police vehicle and ignite it. Melecio was then assisted by Spry in attempting to set fire to the police vehicle. Law enforcement officers on scene arrested Spry, but Melecio and Dockery fled. Law enforcement later identified Melecio and Dockery through analysis of street camera and other video footage. They were arrested on Aug. 5, 2020.
Melecio pleaded guilty on Jan. 26, 2021, to one count of attempting to obstruct, impede, or interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder affecting commerce.
The charge of attempting to interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder to which Spry and Melecio have pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing for Spry is scheduled for Aug. 3, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI and task force officers of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley; troopers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan; and officers of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, under the direction of Commissioner Marcus O. Hicks, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander E. Ramey and Michelle S. Gasparian of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charges and allegations remaining against Kadeem Dockery are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A former Princeton resident was arrested today and charged with engaging in multiple fraudulent schemes intended to steal millions of dollars from individual and institutional victims, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Ford Graham, 57, formerly of Princeton, New Jersey, was arrested today in Nellysford, Virginia, and charged by criminal complaint with two counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of securities fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of engaging in unlawful money transactions. Graham made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Hoppe in Harrisonburg, Virginia, federal court. Graham will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on a date to be determined.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From December 2012 to September 2013, Graham represented himself as the owner, chief executive, chairman, manager, and principal member of dozens of corporate entities purporting to do business under an umbrella organization, Vulcan Capital Corp. (Vulcan). Graham held himself out as a highly successful financier who had vast experience sponsoring complex energy and natural resource projects and other investment deals. In connection with one such investment that Graham and a Vulcan entity sponsored, one victim (Victim-1) invested more than $2 million with Graham, relying on Graham’s misrepresentations and omissions regarding the investment. The investigation revealed that Graham misappropriated substantial amounts of Victim-1’s investment money and used it for his own personal benefit and enrichment – including international vacations, private school tuition for his children, and other personal amenities – instead of the investment purpose that Graham had marketed. Graham caused multiple victims to lose more than $2.6 million.
Graham also participated in a scheme to defraud merchant processing institutions through fraudulent credit card transactions. From December 2017 to February 2018, Graham used at least one payment processing platform to process fraudulent charges on stolen credit card numbers that he obtained. After the payment processing platform credited Graham’s account with the payments requested, Graham quickly transferred or caused to be transferred the fraudulently obtained money to other accounts before the victim institutions could act. When requested by the victim payment processing company to provide supporting documentation, Graham submitted false documentation, including fabricated invoices and credit card authorization forms, fabricated e-mails, forged signatures, altered bank statements, and other false and fraudulent information. This scheme resulted in tens of thousands of dollars of losses and the misappropriation of multiple victims’ personal identification information.
From February 2017 to June 2018, Graham conspired with others to defraud victim institutions and individuals of millions of dollars through a business email compromise scheme. Members of the conspiracy sent fraudulent e-mail communications to victims who were scheduled to make substantial outgoing wire transfers to third parties. These fraudulent e-mails created the appearance that they had been sent by the intended third-party recipients of the scheduled payments when, in fact, they were sent by members of the conspiracy. The fraudulent emails requested the victims to reroute the scheduled payments to different bank accounts, which Graham and his conspirators controlled. In one instance, a fraudulent email successfully induced one victim unknowingly to reroute a payment of more than $650,000 to a bank account that Graham controlled. Upon receiving the funds, Graham transferred or caused to be transferred substantial portions of those funds to other accounts that he controlled, and which he used and intended to use for his own personal benefit. Graham and his conspirators attempted to defraud multiple victims of at least $6 million.
The wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross amount of gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. The securities fraud count is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. Each count of aggravated identity theft is punishable by a statutory mandatory consecutive sentence of two years, which must run consecutive to any other sentence. The charge of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense or not more than twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the transactions.
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.; special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez; and inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Rodney M. Hopkins, with the investigation leading to today’s charges. Acting U.S. Attorney Honig also thanked investigators with the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, under the direction of Chief Christopher W. Gerold, for their assistance in connection with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Brendan Day, Attorney-in-Charge of the Trenton Branch Office, and Martha K. Nye, of the Criminal Division in Trenton.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley today announced that a Trenton man suspected of committing three armed robberies from March 21, 2021 through March 29, 2021 has been taken into custody and charged with multiple firearm and robbery offenses.
Maurice Davis, 23, of Trenton, was arrested on the morning of March 29, 2021 and charged with two counts of armed robbery, one count of strong-arm robbery, three counts of unlawful possession of a handgun, two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, one count of unlawful possession of hollow point rounds, and one count of hindering apprehension.
On Sunday, March 21, 2021 at approximately 5:50 p.m., TPD officers responded to a report of a commercial armed robbery on the 1200 block of S. Clinton Avenue. During the investigation, officers discovered that the store was robbed of several hundred dollars by a man wearing a mask and armed with a handgun.
On Monday, March 29, 2021 just before 9:00 a.m., officers responded to the 1000 block of S. Broad Street after a victim there reported being robbed at gunpoint. Officers on scene were given a description of the suspect that was like the one provided from the previous crime. That description was broadcast to all police units in the city.
Later that morning at 9:30 a.m. – while officers were still investigating the 1000 block of S. Broad Street robbery – other officers responded to another robbery taking place at the same S. Clinton Avenue location that was robbed on March 21, 2021. This time officers were told that the same suspect returned and stated, “I’m back, give me the money.” After the robbery, the suspect fled the scene on foot.
Officer Jeffry Donaire and Detective Angel Turner were investigating the robberies when they spotted a man who fit the description provided in all three robberies and attempted to stop him. When they approached the suspect, he drew a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband. The officers were able to de-escalate the situation and the suspect dropped the gun. He was taken into custody without further incident.
“This case speaks to the resilience of TPD officers in pursuing and apprehending individuals that threaten our residents and businesses with violence,” said Director Coley. “Thankfully, no one was harmed during this investigation. My thanks go out to the residents that provided the intelligence and the officers who took this dangerous individual off our streets.”
These charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
TRENTON (MERCER)– Trenton Police responded to the 7-Eleven in the 700 block of Chambers Street early Tuesday morning for an incident that occured at the store.
It was around 2:00 am, Trenton Police arrived and discovered that 38-year-old Trenton resident, Clayton Glenn, entered the store to purchase snacks. Glenn and the store clerk began to argue over the payment of the items. Glenn then brandished a handgun. The store clerk began to struggle with the suspect, during which time Glenn dropped the gun. The store clerk held Glenn until the police arrived.
The gun was determined to be just a BB gun.
The suspect was transported to the hospital for injuries sustained during the struggle, and is in police custody. He was charged with robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Publication of full 2020 dataset follows Attorney General’s Office, NJ State Police announcing top line statistics last week
March 30, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Following the release last week of top line, preliminary data regarding bias incidents in New Jersey in 2020, the Attorney General’s Office and the New Jersey State Police today published the complete dataset cataloguing 2020 bias incidents in the state. The data, which remains preliminary, is available online in spreadsheet format on the State Police website.
The complete dataset includes a breakdown of bias incidents by type of offense, victim, and location, and includes municipal-level data, among other information. The 2020 Bias Incident Report, which will be published later this year, will include further analysis of the data.
While releasing the top line data last week, Attorney General Grewal also announced that the Attorney General’s Office and the State Police will soon begin making bias incident data available to the public on a monthly basis, starting in April. These monthly bias incident reports will show breakdowns by bias type and county.
Members of the public are encouraged to report bias incidents to their local police departments, or via the NJBIAS online portal at https://bias.njcivilrights.gov, or by calling 800-277-BIAS.
For purposes of UCR reporting, a “bias incident” is a suspected or confirmed violation of New Jersey’s bias intimidation statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1(a)(1) or (2), in which a victim is subjected to harassment, assault, terroristic threats, or other specified acts “because of race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity.”
Because the data captures only reported bias incidents, it is under-inclusive in that it does not capture incidents that were never reported to law enforcement. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, over half of the victims of hate crimes in the U.S. from 2011 to 2015 did not report them.
Nearly 90,000 Uninsured Children Will Have Access to Health Care Coverage Through the Initiative
Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Proposal Invests $20 million in First Phase of Two-Year Campaign
March 30, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–PASSAIC, NJ (PASSAIC)—Joined by Senate Health Committee Chair Senator Joe Vitale, Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, Assemblyman Gary Schaer, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman, Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride, and Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency Director Shabnam Salih, Governor Phil Murphy today visited the North Hudson Community Action Corporation to highlight the $20 million investment in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) budget proposal for Phase 1 of the Cover All Kids campaign.
“No child in New Jersey should be left without the support and security of health care coverage,” said Governor Murphy. “The proposed investment toward Cover All Kids in our budget continues the progress we’ve made toward advancing health care accessibility, while laying the foundation to ensure that more children are able to receive access to quality health care coverage that they deserve.”
“As a daughter of immigrants and as someone who grew up with NJ FamilyCare coverage for most of my childhood, I could not be more thankful for the Governor’s leadership here and excited about what this campaign will mean for the thousands of uninsured children in New Jersey,” said Shabnam Salih, Executive Director of the Office of Health Care Affordability and Transparency. “Through this work we will not only be ensuring better health care for these children, but removing a significant burden in their lives that will help ensure brighter and healthier futures.”
“Governor Murphy is committed to supporting New Jerseyans through every stage of life, which is why he’s proposing a new Cover All Kids initiative to provide health care coverage for every New Jersey child,” said Human Services Acting Commissioner Sarah Adelman. “New Jersey has been leading the way on health care access for years, and with this plan we will achieve something monumental and fundamental: health care for every child. This is a compassionate and fiscally responsible plan – and it’s realistic. It’s also – most importantly – crucial for our children and our future.”
“Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey has made it a priority to improve access to health care, based on the principle that health care is a fundamental right. Last fall, we opened our state-based exchange, Get Covered New Jersey, where residents who do not have health insurance from an employer or other program can purchase coverage. That alone was transformational for our state,” said Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride. “Now with a plan to Cover All Kids, New Jersey will continue to chart a deliberate path forward and deliver improved health care access for residents.”
The campaign further builds on the Governor’s progress in making critical strides in improving access to more affordable health care coverage for New Jersey residents. The launch of the Cover All Kids campaign provides the opportunity to extend coverage to those most in need. This initiative will improve accessibility and remove barriers to cover nearly 90,000 uninsured children in our state.
Phase 1 of the Cover All Kids Campaign
The first phase will remove barriers and support connections to coverage for nearly 53,000 children through FY2022 by doing the following:
Eliminating the 90-day waiting period for coverage to children newly enrolling into the Children Health’s Insurance Program (CHIP);
Removing premiums families would pay for their children enrolled in CHIP; and
Developing targeted outreach efforts to boost enrollment for currently eligible children who are unenrolled.
Phase 2 of the Cover All Kids Campaign
The second phase of the campaign begins after Phase 1 implementation and will provide coverage options for children of undocumented immigrants and those whose families’ incomes are over NJ FamilyCare eligibility, but still find coverage unaffordable and out of reach.
“Governor Murphy’s Cover All Kids initiative is precisely the kind of bold government action we need right now here in Passaic and across this state,” said Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. “Lack of health care during the pandemic has caused tragedy. Fortunately, our state’s local and federal officials are united in our efforts to defeat this virus and strengthen your health care. Thanks to Governor Murphy’s leadership and the additional federal resources we have delivered, the state has launched the Cover All Kids initiative to invest in coverage for the 88,000 children who lack health care. This comes on the heels of President Biden’s massive American Rescue Plan we passed which makes health care more affordable, makes health services more accessible, and cuts child poverty rates in half. As we look to safely reopen schools and help families recover, we must prioritize the solutions that will keep our neighbors healthy.”
“There’s nothing more important than having a kid have access to care. All those families that are here today understand what it means when your kids are sick,” said Senator Joseph Vitale.
“I think we can all agree that one child without insurance is too many and our benchmark for success needs to be covering all kids,” said Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez. “The legislation Senator Vitale and I introduced charts a course to address the issues barring our kids from receiving coverage. We will expand eligibility to all children who meet the income requirement, eliminate the burdensome 90-day waiting period, reestablish the New Jersey Care buy-in program, and ensure a robust outreach program that will target every child in need.”
“This is the game-changer that we have all been waiting for. This is the difference between not doing and doing. This legislation will make fundamental change, not over there or over there, but right here in this wonderful city, Passaic,” said Assemblyman Gary Schaer. “Whatever your background, your language, culture or religion, we make the difference with this legislation today.
“ACNJ commends Governor Murphy and legislative leaders for their commitment to ensure that all NJ children have access health insurance,” said Cecilia Zalkind, President & Chief Executive Officer of Advocates for Children of New Jersey. “NJ has long been a leader in ensuring that children are covered. This will remove the final barriers to reach the goal of covering all kids. Access to health care is essential to child well-being. This is a great day for kids in NJ!”
“Having attainable, affordable health care is not just a health issue – it is a critical component for individuals and families to remain financially stable and for economies to thrive,” said United Way of Northern New Jersey CEO Kiran Handa Gaudioso. “We support making health care coverage accessible so that fewer ALICE households and those in poverty are uninsured or underinsured.”
Historic Legislation Continues Murphy Administration’s Commitment to Expanding Access to Democracy
March 30, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Murphy, joined by legislators and advocates including national voting rights leader Stacey Abrams, today signed legislation (S3203), which establishes in-person early voting in the State of New Jersey. The legislation is the latest in a series of initiatives by the Murphy Administration and the Legislature to expand access to voting rights and democracy amidst a wave of voter disenfranchisement measures across the country.
“While other states are looking to find ways to keep their citizens from voting, we have consistently worked to ensure that the voices of the people are heard,” said Governor Murphy. “I am immensely proud to sign this legislation today and to remind the nation that our democracy wins when we open the doors of our polling places wide instead of slamming them shut.”
“As New Jersey’s chief election officer, I welcome this opportunity to make our state even more voter-friendly,” said Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “In person early voting will strengthen our democracy by providing voters with more options to cast their ballot.”
Primary sponsors for S3203 include Senators Nia H. Gill, Linda R. Greenstein, Shirley K. Turner, and Assemblymembers Andrew Zwicker, Joseph Danielsen, and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson.
“Our accountability over government, opportunities to better our lives and the chance to elect our representatives all depend upon our ability to access the ballot,” said Senator Nia Gill. “Preventing voter intimidation, passing early voting and implementing electronic poll books will ensure our fundamental right to have our voices heard. There are few rights more important than a citizen’s ability to vote.”
“Early in-person voting strengthens our electoral process,” said Senator Linda Greenstein. “This law will provide greater accessibility to the polls and encourage greater voter turnout, ensuring the will of the people is adequately heard throughout New Jersey.”
“After the horrific voter suppression law which was enacted in Georgia last week, I am proud we are continuing our efforts to make voting as accessible as possible. This legislation will encourage and increase voter registration and turnout, especially in off-year elections,” said Senator Shirley Turner. “Early in-person voting sites should and will be easily accessible to all individuals in order to ensure a more convenient and fair voting system for all New Jerseyans.”
“Voting must be easy, convenient and accessible; our democracy depends on participation of the people. However, the current system makes it difficult for the people to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Heading to the polls on Election Day may require voters to take off work on a weekday, find care for their children or demand hours of their time. It shouldn’t be this hard to cast a ballot,” said Assembly sponsors Andrew Zwicker, Joseph Danielsen, and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson. “New Jersey must join the ranks of two dozen other states that allow in-person early voting, giving voters more opportunities to cast their ballots at their convenience. More people voting strengthens our democracy.”
“This is a big day for democracy in New Jersey. While state after state across the country is pushing Jim Crow-like voter suppression laws, New Jersey is proactively taking pro-democracy steps to expand access to voting for all of its residents, including Black and other communities of color,” said Ryan Haygood, President and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “Early in-person voting will make voting more accessible, including for Black voters who will now be able to participate in the Souls to the Polls tradition of voting on Sunday after church. With laws like this, New Jersey is on its way to becoming a model of an inclusive democracy. We are grateful to legislators and the Governor for making this legislation a reality and look forward to working with them to strengthen our democracy even more.”
“As other states attempt to rollback voting rights and restrict access to the ballot, New Jersey is once again proving that we are a national leader in defending democracy,” said Nancy Hedinger, President of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. “We applaud the Governor and Legislature for their recognition that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to voting and that our democracy works better when there are multiple options to participate making the ballot accessible for all.”
S3203 allows registered voters to vote using machines at polling places before the day of certain primary and general elections in New Jersey. In-person early voting will enable a registered voter to vote at a designated polling place before the day of an election using optical-scan voting machines that read hand-marked paper ballots or other voting machines that produce a voter-verifiable paper ballot. Designated polling places must be open for early voting on Monday through Saturday from at least 10 AM to 8 PM, and on Sunday from at least 10 AM to 6 PM.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Yesterday, Colonel Patrick J. Callahan was joined by Governor Phil Murphy, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Senator Paul Sarlo on the steps of the State House Annex for a ceremony to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the State Police Bill.
The State Police Bill, which was introduced on March 29, 1921 by Senator Clarence Case—who is known as the “Father of the State Police.”—officially established a statewide police force.
Governor Phil Murphy, Attorney General Grewal, and Senator Sarlo spoke about the proud traditions of the State Police, which has served the citizens of New Jersey with honor for a century, responding to some of New Jersey’s most challenging events such as the Lindbergh kidnapping, the September 11th terrorist attacks, Superstorm Sandy, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Colonel Callahan reflected on the evolution of the Division’s mission from patrolling rural farming communities to investigating crimes with forensics and cutting-edge technologies. He stated that as he is excited for our members to begin filling in the blank pages of the next 100 years, he remains confident that our traditions and core values of Honor, Duty, and Fidelity will continue to be the guiding principle of our members for the next 100 years.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced today that an investigation conducted by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force has resulted in charges being filed against four men in the May 30, 2018 homicide of Kuyler Fowler.
All four men are charged with murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and weapons offenses. Breon Phelps, 21, of Trenton is currently detained in the Mercer County Correction Center on unrelated charges. Isaac Fisher, 21, of Trenton, and Justin Malkin, 21, of Hamilton, are incarcerated at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility on unrelated charges. The fourth suspect, a 19-year-old Willingboro man, is currently being held at the Hudson County Correction Center on unrelated charges. His name is not being released at this time because he was a juvenile at the time of the murder. The prosecutor’s office will file a motion seeking to have him tried as an adult.
On May 30, 2018, Trenton police responded to the 900 block of East State Street just after 12:30 a.m. after the Shot Spotter gunshot detection system activated for multiple gunshots. Upon arrival, police located an Audi parked on the street with more than 20 bullet strikes. Nineteen-year-old Kuyler Fowler was inside of the vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head. He was transported to the hospital where he died a short time later. A second shooting victim was located at the hospital. The 16-year-old black male, who was struck in the leg, was treated and released.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
March 29, 2021 — Updated to include information from TPD
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Department, Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS and Capital Health Paramedics responded to a person stabbed in the 100 Block of Old Rose Street around 6:45 pm. Trenton Police, Fire and EMS could be seen working on the victim as they were moved to the ambulance and quickly transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. No further information is available at this time.
Trenton Police Department Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko told MidJersey.news that around 6:45 pm Trenton Police Officers responded to 199 Old Rose St. They met a women who said she was “grabbed” by a male she didn’t know. She pulled away from him and returned to her apartment. Once in her apartment she realized she was stabbed. The suspect was described as a black male wearing a knit hat and a mask. The victim is being treated at Capital Health Regional Medical Center for a non-life-threatening injury.
The crime is being investigated by Detective Crystal Everett. Any one with information is asked to contact out anonymous tip line at 609-989-Drug (3784)
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– A swatting call prompted a massive police response to a residence on Julia Avenue, Monday afternoon.
The incident occurred around 4:20 pm. Hamilton Police received a 911 call from a male stating he came home to his residence in the 100 block of Julia Avenue, where he discovered his wife was cheating on him. The male told 911 that he grabbed his gun and shot her in the head, killing her, and was holding the other male hostage. He also stated he will fire at officers upon their arrival.
While officers were responding to the scene, another 911 call came in from a neighboring residence, stating that they heard several gunshots coming from the suspected home.
During their investigation, police discovered that the call was a possible swatting call, which is the action of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address. The calls are typically made from a spoofed number, and often come from people that are out of state or even overseas.
It was determined that nobody was shot and no hostages were being held. Police walked through the home, and found no active emergency.
It is believed that the 911 calls did not originate from the reported residence.
This incident prompted a massive emergency response. Multiple Hamilton Police units responded, and immediately began to assess the situation and establish a plan. SWAT Team, along with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Bearcat was requested to the scene, and EMS and Paramedics were dispatched to stage in the area. They were all cleared once police discovered the nature of the incident was unfounded.
A similar incident occurred last night in Trenton around 11:20 pm. Police received information via a text message to 911 that someone was shot in the 500 block of North Clinton Avenue. The message also stated that the gunshot victim was on their way to the Trauma Center. This incident also turned out to be unfounded.
This remains under investigation.
If we receive any updates, we will update the post. Please check back for any updates.
EAST WINDSOR (MERCER)– On Saturday, March 27, around 8:33 pm, the East Windsor Police Department responded to a motor vehicle crash located on Route 33 West, between Twin Rivers Drive North and Probasco Road, involving one motor vehicle and a pedestrian.
The pedestrian, identified as Paul A. Truncellito Jr, 37, of East Windsor, was struck by a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2500, operated by David J. Brophy, 22, of Hainesport.
Preliminary investigation reveals that while traveling on foot, Southbound, across Route 33, Truncellito was struck by the Silverado, which was traveling West on Route 33. Truncellito sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
The matter remains under investigation by the East Windsor Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Collision Response Team. No charges have been filed at this time.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– An arrest has been made in the stabbing that occurred early Sunday morning, sending two victims to the hospital.
The stabbing occurred around 5:30 am at the Wingate Apartments in the 200 block of Wert Avenue. Hamilton Police were dispatched to an active disturbance investigation. On arrival, units located one man bleeding heavily from the neck, and another man, both suffering stab wounds, sustained during an argument.
Officers on scene determined that 30-year-old Hamilton resident, George Kinczel, was the alleged suspect in the incident. Kinczel was arrested and transported to Hamilton Police Division for processing.
Both stabbing victims of this assault were transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center for their injuries, where they are expected to survive.
George Kinczel was charged with criminal attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and various weapons offenses. He is currently being lodged at the Mercer County Correctional Facility.
Hamilton Police ask anyone with additional information regarding this incident to contact Detective Nicholas Schulte of the Hamilton Police Criminal Investigations Section at 609-689-5825, or via email at email@example.com. Anonymous tips are also accepted through the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.
Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Early yesterday morning Trenton Police Responded to Route 29 and Parkside for shots fired. Police found a vehicle struck by gunfire but no victims were located.
Trenton Police Department, Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko said, “Officers were sent to the area of Rt 29 and Parkside Ave after receiving a “shots fired” call. They found an unoccupied car that was struck by gunfire. Officers were unable to locate a victim.”
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Hamilton Township Fire Department responded to the 1st Block of Chambord Court around 2:30 am for a house fire with reported entrapment. First arriving firefighters reported a fire on the 2nd floor and called for an “all hands” sending additional equipment and manpower to the scene. Firefighters searched for a reported trapped victim but luckily no victim was found. The fire was quickly placed under control. The Hamilton Township Fire Marshal is investigating the fire. No other information is available at this time.
March 28, 2021 — updated 3/29/2021 with daytime photos by Brian McCarthy
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–As a severe line of thunderstorms moved though the area the Trenton Fire Department responded to a reported fire in the 900 Block of New York Avenue around 7:30 pm. When firefighters arrived they found that high winds from the storm ripped off the roof of a commercial building with solar panels and tossed the roofing and panels in the middle of NY Avenue. Firefighters immediately began checking buildings for injured occupants and luckily no one was injured. PSE&G was called to the scene since the flying debris damaged utility poles and wires in the area. The Trenton Police Department closed NY Avenue from Olden to Mulberry Street and Trenton Public Works responded with barricades.
The damage was to a complex of buildings of Stone-Tech Marble & Granite Fabricators in a section of building that was 75ft x 60ft in size per Google Maps. The entire complex of buildings measures 285ft x 261ft in size. Hopefully the damage will only effect the one smaller structure of the complex of buildings and the business should be able to remain open.
JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Sometime after 7:30 am this morning an empty shed caught fire involving a propane tank at the Six Flags Great Adventure Safari according to radio reports. Numerous area fire departments responded to the scene to combat the fire. Several large water tankers were called to supply water to keep propane tanks involved in fire cool. Investigators are on scene at the time of this report investigating the fire and no determination has been reported.
Six Flags Great Adventure representative Kristin Fitzgerald told MidJersey.news in a statement that “No animals or team members were injured. The fire was contained to small, empty shed and the cause is not yet known.”
Jackson Township Police Chief Matthew Kunz stated that the fire was non-suspicious and due to heater in a storage shed.
Fred Meabe from the Jackson Township Police Department told MidJersey.news that the fire was located in the Six Flags Great Adventure Safari area which involved a propane tank. Investigation resulted in no suspicious activity causing the fire.
Meabe said, “The Fire is believed to be as a result of something electronic or a faulty heating system. No animals or persons were injured as a result. Fire has since been extinguished and the park is open for operation.”
EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Around 8:35 pm the East Windsor Police Department, East Windsor First Aid Squad and Capital Health Paramedics responded to Route 33 for a pedestrian struck. The accident was originally reported in front of IHOP but was further down the road on the West Bound side across from PETRO USA. It appeared that a pickup struck the pedestrian and the pickup suffered front end damage. Members of the East Windsor First Aid Squad called for a medical helicopter but it was canceled due to patient condition. East Windsor Fire Company was called to help set up lights to light the highway and assist police with the investigation. Route 33 West Bound was closed from Twin Rivers Drive to Lake Drive-Probasco Road for the investigation and was reopened about an hour and a half later. No further information is available at this time. MidJersey.news has reached out to East Windsor Police Department for press information and when information becomes available the story will be updated.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Before 5:00 pm the Trenton Fire Department responded to the 500 Block of Stuyvesant Avenue for a house fire. Fire was reported on the 2nd floor and was quickly extinguished by the Trenton Fire Department. The fire appeared to be in a vacant structure. No further information is available at this time.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Today the Mercer County Fire Service laid to rest John Loyal Newbon, Sr. who was beloved by many throughout the county. A large contingent with hundreds of firefighters and apparatus stretched for blocks as the motorcade made their way from Hamilton Township Station 18 (Colonial) past Hamilton Fire Station 14 (Hamilton) and to the final resting place at Greenwood Cemetery. A full firefighter’s ceremony included bag pipers and a “final call” from Mercer County Central/KSO-869 over the fire radio channels.
Our friend John will be greatly missed, he joined the fire service as a junior member of Hamilton Fire Company in 1977 at the age of 16 and continued to serve in various positions in the fire service in Mercer County for 43 years.
John L. Newbon, Sr.
April 24, 1961- March 20, 2021
John Loyal Newbon, Sr., 59, of Hamilton, passed away peacefully on Saturday,
March 20, 2021 at Beth Israel Hospital, Newark, NJ. Born in Trenton, NJ he was a lifelong Hamilton Twp. resident. The name Loyal meaning faithful and unswerving was a fitting name for John.
He started his career in Fire Service by joining the Hamilton Fire Company in 1977 at the age of 16 as a Junior Fireman. He did this for 2 years before moving up to a regular contributing member in 1979, as Operator 59, serving on many committees.
John moved to active status in 1980 and put in 7 years of over 60% of fire calls, he became exempt in the company and received his qualifying certificate for the state in 1991.
John served as Trustee 1980 – 1984, Vice president 1992, President 1993,
Chief Driver 1991 – 1994, 3rd Captain 1981 and 2004, 2Nd Captain 1982 – 1983, 1991 – 1992 -2005, Chief in 1989 and 1996 to present, and company secretary for many years.
He achieved his life status with state relief association and has served for many years as Vice president and president of the Hamilton Fireman’s Relief Association. John held every office in the Mercer County Fireman’s Association and has helped with many committees and the memorial service.
John was a life member and served on the credentials committee and audit committee for the State Exempts Association. He served as a Commissioner for Fire District 4 from 1993 – 2017 and 2019 – 2020 and was a member of the State Board of Commissioners.
He joined the Slackwood Fire Company to help the residents of Lawrence Township and moved up to Trustee and most recently Assistant Chief.
John was a Senior Supervisor for Mercer County Communication 911 Dispatch Center, Operator 105 , and was active with the County Fire Coordinator office.
In the little bit of spare time he had, you could find him at his camper in the Pleasant Valley campground. He loved hunting, catfishing and vacationing with his family.
Predeceased by his parents, Blanche and Albert Newbon and his sisters Patricia and Fern; he is survived by the love of his life , wife of 39 years Jacqueline “Jacki” (Salay); 3 children, son John Jr., daughters Jamie, and Jacquelyn and husband Anthony, his granddaughters whom he loved so much Alyssa, Cassidy, Lily, Aja; brothers Thomas and wife Virginia (Gini), brother Brian and wife Betty; step-mother-in-law, Sandi Brelsford; beloved canines Cleo and LuLu, along with many other family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues, who will miss him dearly .
Visitation for family and friends will be held on Friday March 26, 2021 from 3:00pm-9:00pm and again on Saturday, March 27, 2021 from 8:00am-10:00am at the Colonial Fire House, 801 Kuser Road, Hamilton NJ.
The funeral service will be held Saturday at 10:00am at the Colonial Fire House.
Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Saint Barnabas Burn Center, 95 Old Short Hills Road, West Orange, NJ 07052, in John’s name.
Arrangements are under the direction of Buklad-Merlino Memorial Homes, Hamilton.
UPDATE: 3/27/2021 Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko of the Trenton Police Department confirms that two people were struck by gunfire 11:00 pm last night in the 200 Block of Tyler Street. Both men are being treated at Capital Health Regional Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Anyone with information should contact Trenton’ Police Department’s anonymous tip line at 609-989-DRUG (3784)
March 26, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Just before 11:00 pm Trenton Police responded to the 200 Block of Tyler Street for reports of several shots fired. It was reported that when police arrived they found a male shot and requested an ambulance. Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS and Capital Paramedics responded to the scene for the shooting victims. The person was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center and a Trauma Alert was called. No further information is available at this time.
Update: We are also checking on an unconfirmed report of a person that was also injured in the shooting taken to St. Francis Hospital prior to PD arrival and is now being transferred by ambulance to Capital Health Regional Medical Center Trauma Center at 11:49 pm.
This is a Breaking News Story, this is from radio reports, witnesses and/or on scene reporting. MidJersey.News has reached out to TPD for official information and when that becomes available the story will be updated an any corrections made.
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hopewell police, fire. & rescue personnel responded to a serious accident on Rt. 546 near Reed Road. No other information available at this time. On Scene News Photos By Brian McCarthy
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–In a statement earlier today Rutgers University stated that all students planning to attend the Fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated. See the statement below:
Members of the Rutgers Community:
We write to share news of our plans to welcome back all members of our community to our campuses this fall. The anticipated additional availability of the COVID-19 vaccine is enabling Rutgers to take steps to protect the health of our academic community and to move toward a full return to our pre-pandemic normal as a vibrant institution in Fall 2021.
President Biden recently announced that he is encouraging all states to open their COVID-19 vaccine eligibility requirements to include all adults and, further, that he expects that all adults could have access to at least one inoculation dose by the early summer. The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recently issued helpful guidance for those individuals who have been fully vaccinated. These announcements have provided us with the opportunity to clarify what our path forward will entail as we plan for the Fall 2021 academic semester.
In support of Rutgers’ commitment to health and safety for all members of its community, the University will be updating its Immunization Requirements for Students to include the COVID-19 vaccine. This health policy update means that, with limited exceptions, all students planning to attend in the Fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated. In parallel, we continue to strongly urge all Rutgers faculty and staff to get immunized against COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity.
The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination include prevention of serious illness, hospitalization, and death from the virus. Broad immunization is critical to help stop the current pandemic and to protect our University community. Benefits specific to the Rutgers community include:
An expedited return to pre-pandemic normal
Additional face-to-face course offerings and academic experiences
Opportunities for a wider range of events and activities offered at our campuses
Expanded dining and recreation options at Rutgers
Greater interpersonal collaboration among faculty, students, and researchers
Most important, a safer Rutgers community supports a safer New Jersey for our families, our friends, and our neighbors across the state.
The University has also been approved by the State to offer Rutgers clinics for on-campus administration of vaccines to faculty, staff, and students when vaccine supplies become available. However, we have not yet been given vaccine to administer. Thus, the University urges all members of its community currently eligible to receive a vaccine not to wait and to register with the State in order to get vaccinated as soon as possible, wherever you can, if you have not done so already.
Proof of vaccination will be required for all students planning to attend this fall. Any vaccine authorized for use in the U.S. (currently Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson) is acceptable. It is understood that some incoming students may be 17 years old, and may be only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
Students planning to attend the fall 2021 semester may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Students enrolled in fully online degree programs (typically defined as having no access to on-campus facilities), as well as individuals participating in fully online or off-campus Continuing Education programs, will not need to provide proof of vaccination.
From the onset of the pandemic, the safety of the broader Rutgers community has been our shared responsibility. This has never been more true. The importance of an effective vaccination program to make our community safer for all cannot be overstated.
Please look for additional information and instructions regarding Rutgers vaccine clinics and exemptions in the coming days from Brian Strom, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. Chancellors and their staffs will follow with additional information about fall planning as well.
We appreciate your patience, understanding, and commitment to health and safety during these challenging times, and we look forward to seeing you on campus this fall.
Jonathan Holloway President and University Professor
Prabhas V. Moghe Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Distinguished Professor
Antonio M. Calcado Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a New Jersey state trooper was indicted today for allegedly stalking a female motorist in his patrol vehicle while on duty.
The Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) today obtained a state grand jury indictment charging Trooper Michael Patterson, 29, of Bayonne, N.J., with the following offenses:
Official Misconduct (2nd Degree)
Stalking (4th degree)
Tampering with Public Records (4th degree)
The New Jersey State Police Office of Professional Standards initially investigated this matter and referred it to the OPIA Corruption Bureau.
The investigation revealed that on January 28, 2020, Trooper Patterson conducted a motor vehicle stop of a female motorist on the New Jersey Turnpike at approximately 9:30 p.m. Patterson let the woman go with a warning, but he allegedly conducted a second, unwarranted stop of her vehicle a few minutes later when she exited the Turnpike at Exit 11.
Patterson allegedly conducted the second motor vehicle stop in order to make advances on the woman. Patterson allegedly disabled the Digital In-Vehicle Recorder (DIVR) in his vehicle to prevent his conduct from being recorded during this second stop. It is further alleged that Patterson subsequently put the victim in fear by following her to her home in his patrol vehicle.
“The New Jersey State Police maintain the highest standards of conduct for their state troopers, standards which the vast majority uphold as faithful and honorable guardians of the public,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Trooper Patterson allegedly violated those standards and the law, using his authority not to act as a guardian, but to put a female motorist in fear. This indictment reflects our resolve to hold officers accountable if they betray the public’s trust with this type of conduct.”
“One of the primary missions of OPIA is to root out official misconduct that undermines faith in law enforcement and government,” said OPIA Director Thomas Eicher. “This is not the first time we have encountered conduct of the type alleged in this indictment involving a law enforcement officer, but we hope that our criminal prosecutions will deter such conduct going forward.”
“The New Jersey State Police holds its troopers to the highest level of professional standards of any law enforcement agency in the country through a robust system of checks and balances that is designed to not only hold its members accountable, but to serve as a tool to provide training and counseling through early intervention,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “The alleged conduct revealed in this investigation stands in stark contrast to the core values of the New Jersey State Police and is a betrayal to the public and to the entire law enforcement community.”
Second-degree official misconduct carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison, including a mandatory minimum term of five years parole ineligibility, and a fine of up to $150,000. Fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The fourth-degree charge of tampering with public records carries a mandatory minimum term of one year of parole ineligibility.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Deputy Attorneys General Adam Gerken and Jonathan Gilmore are prosecuting the case for the OPIA Corruption Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione. Attorney General Grewal thanked the New Jersey State Police Office of Professional Standards for their investigation and referral.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Since the establishment of Trenton Catholic Academy in Hamilton more than 15 years ago, the Diocese of Trenton has provided substantial support to make this Catholic educational experience available to students who live in and around the wider Trenton area. However, the growing cost of providing this experience has consistently outpaced tuition and other revenue, requiring diocesan subsidy of more than $20 million over the last 12 years. No other school in the Diocese of Trenton has received such substantial support.
Due to these chronic difficulties, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., accepted the recommendation made by TCA leadership that the school must close this June. The Diocese announced the decision Jan. 8, 2021 and has since been assisting the school in winding down operations at the end of the school year.
Shortly after the announcement, the Diocese was approached by a group interested in establishing an independent Catholic school replacing TCA. Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy, the new school, would continue the mission of providing a Catholic educational experience for the students who currently make up the TCA community, as well as others in the area who might consider enrolling.
After several meetings with representatives of this group, the Diocese has indicated its conceptual support of the proposal to open an independent Catholic school where TCA is now located, but distinctly autonomous from the Diocese, financially and otherwise. Diocesan officials have extended a lease agreement for the school facility that is significantly below market value. The school will be required to meet all terms of the agreement and is solely responsible for all financial obligations it incurs. The school will also be required to commit to adherence of Catholic doctrine and provide a Christ-centered environment in which students may learn.
Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy is a New Jersey, not for profit corporation. The group aims to open Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy for September 2021 pending final approvals.
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