Day: April 2, 2021

Officials investigating fatal Jackson Township structure fire

April 2, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

JACKSON TOWNSHIP (OCEAN)– Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on April 1, 2021, at approximately 8:45 p.m., the Jackson Township Police Department and Jackson Township Fire Department were dispatched to a structure fire with entrapment on Lehigh Boulevard.

Upon arrival, emergency personnel found the structure to be fully engulfed by flames. Firefighters located the body of an 82 year-old female in the downstairs portion of the residence. She was pronounced deceased at the scene. A second victim jumped from the second story of the residence to escape the fire and received minor injuries. A pet dog has not yet been accounted for. A Jackson Township Police Officer was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. A second Jackson Township Police Officer was transported to Monmouth Medical Center-Southern Campus in Lakewood, treated for minor injuries, and released.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit- Arson Squad, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, Jackson Township Fire Bureau, and Jackson Township Police Department.
Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, Jackson Township Police Department, Jackson Township Fire Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Ocean County Road Department, and Ocean County Regional Urban Search Team, for their combined and cooperative efforts in connection with this investigation. More information will be released once it becomes available.

East Windsor man arrested after impersonating a police officer and possessing child pornography

April 2, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

WEST WINDSOR TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– On Thursday March 18, 2021 at 1:36 am, K9 Officer Zicha initiated a stop of a Gray 2016 Nissan on Penn-Lyle Road near West Windsor Plainsboro High School South.  The Nissan had a light bar in its rear window with illuminated/activated green and white lights.  The Nissan had just completed a stop of an unknown motor vehicle.  Further investigation by K9 Officer Zicha revealed that the Nissan was outfitted with police style equipment, such as an operational police scanner, a functional laptop computer fashioned like a police Mobile Data Terminal, various light switches & wiring, and an amber & white light bar in the windshield that had been activated during the “car stop.”  Based upon the totality of the circumstances, Daniel P. Pelicano, of East Windsor, was placed under arrest for Impersonating a Police Officer.   The Nissan was impounded. 

The WWPD Detective Bureau with Det. J. Jones as Lead Detective continued the investigation into this incident as well as attempting to identify any other innocent persons who may have been “stopped” by Pelicano.  The continued investigation revealed that Pelicano was in possession of Child Pornography and multiple Search Warrants have been subsequently executed.  Det. J. Jones charged Pelicano with Possession of Child Pornography on 3/23/2021.  Pelicano was processed at the WWPD and then transported to the Mercer County Workhouse pending a Bail Hearing at the Mercer County Superior Court. 

The WWPD and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office are actively seeking any additional potential victims of Pelicano from his police officer imposter car stops.  The investigation has been painstaking, methodical, and remains ongoing.  If you have any pertinent information please contact Lead Investigator Det. J. Jones at (609) 799-1222,, or on our Anonymous Tip Line at (609) 799-0452.  We have also attached photographs of Pelicano (including his appearance on 3/18/2021 during the initial “car stop”). 

Lastly, Chief Garofalo & the WWPD would like to thank our partners at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office under Angelo Onofri, the Hightstown Police Department, the East Windsor Township Police Department, and the NJ State Police.  Each of these agencies played a key role in the continued and extensive investigation of Pelicano. 

Robbinsville PBA Local #344 Egg Hunt

April 2, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–In order to comply with COVID-19 precautions the Robbinsville Township PBA Local #344 Easter Egg Hunt is being held a little differently this year. In order help maintain social distancing the hunt is held between the hours of 12 and 6 pm. near the Robbinsville Township Police Station, Robbinsville Library and Senior Center. See flyer and Facebook post below for more information on the egg hunt.

Due to the overwhelming outpouring of support for today’s Easter Egg Hunt, we ask that you please limit your child to FIVE eggs per child.

We cannot thank you all enough for joining us and making this such a memorable event however we want to make sure everyone in our community can enjoy the egg hunt.

As a reminder, if you find an egg with a prize slip in it, this is limited to ONE egg per child.

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to seeing you all!

Continuing Coverage: Trenton man charged with assaulting, robbing federal agent at gunpoint

By: Tyler Eckel

TRENTON (MERCER)– A Trenton man was charged today with assaulting a federal agent with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Jabree Johnson, 28, of Trenton, is charged by complaint with one count of assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon, one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon of an individual with custody of federal property, and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in which the firearm was discharged. Johnson is currently in custody on related charges filed by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office in connection with the assault. He will make his initial appearance by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zahid N. Quraishi on a date to be determined.

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

On March 22, 2021, federal law enforcement officers were investigating firearms trafficking and other illegal activities in Trenton and Hamilton, New Jersey. An undercover federal law enforcement agent arranged to purchase multiple firearms from an individual later identified as Johnson.

After arriving at an agreed-upon location for the firearms transaction, Johnson entered the undercover federal agent’s vehicle and handed the agent a black, semi-automatic firearm. The undercover federal agent inspected the firearm and then returned it to Johnson, and requested to see the other firearms that Johnson had agreed to sell. Instead, Johnson pointed the loaded firearm directly at the undercover federal agent and demanded money from the agent. In response, the undercover federal agent provided Johnson with an amount of U.S. currency. Johnson then ordered the undercover federal agent out of the vehicle at gunpoint. The agent exited the vehicle as ordered, drew a service-issued firearm, and fired at Johnson, striking Johnson in the shoulder. Johnson fired his handgun multiple times at the undercover federal agent before fleeing the area. Johnson was later identified at a local hospital as the individual who had assaulted and robbed the undercover federal agent at gunpoint.

The charge of assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of robbery of federal property with a dangerous weapon carries a maximum potential penalty of 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence carries a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, which must run consecutive to any other sentence imposed, and a maximum of life in prison.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr.; special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Field Division, Trenton Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Sheilah Coley; officers of the Hamilton Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief James Stevens; troopers of the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, and detectives and prosecutors of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo Onofri, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Katie Magee Lee of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Trenton.

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

“Coffee With a Cop” to raise awareness of autism, hosted at Rt 33 Starbucks

April 2, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– A “Coffee With a Cop” event was hosted at the Robbinsville Starbucks on Route 33 this morning, raising autism awareness.

It was held from 9:00 am, to 11:00 pm. Officers from multiple departments, including Hamilton, Robbinsville, NJ State Police, The College of New Jersey Police, Pennington, Trenton, West Windsor, Ewing, and others made an appearance.

Hamilton and Robbinsville Police had tables set up out front in order to raise awareness for autism. Hamilton Police were handing out autism awareness identification stickers, which will alert police and other first responders that an autistic person may be present at the location the sticker is displayed. If you missed this great event, and wish to receive stickers, you can contact Detective Robert O’Hare of the Hamilton Police Division Community Policing Section at 609-581-4021 or You can also receive these stickers from your child’s School Resource Officer or L.E.A.D officer working in various Hamilton Public Schools.

This is all part of a coordinated effort that has been sponsored by a number of police departments throughout the county regarding progressing the issue of autism awareness. The cooperative effort is meant to focus on the issues that challenge police officers on a day to day basis when dealing with autistic individuals. The program intends on focusing the caregivers of the autistic individual in their potential interactions with police.

Today, a number of departments gathered at the Starbucks in Robbinsville to kick off the program. Robbinsville has been a lead in autism awareness, and that is why they were chosen to be the first stop. The efforts of the new program will be ongoing over the next few months in surrounding towns throughout the county.

An event is being planned to be held in Hamilton Township in June of this year.

In addition to raising autism awareness, this event was a great to bring police and the community together, engaging in conversations while enjoying a cup of coffee.

All COVID-19 guidelines were followed.