Day: April 28, 2021

Woodbridge Township man charged with aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, and armed robbery

April 28, 2021

WOODBRIDGE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Director Robert Hubner of the Woodbridge Police Department announced that a Township man has been charged and arrested for the aggravated sexual assault of an adult female and armed robbery of an adult male, which occurred on April 16, 2021. 

On April 27, 2021, Razzell Austin, 21, of Avenel was arrested in the Avenel section of Woodbridge by members of the Woodbridge Police Department, the Carteret Police Department, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Austin was charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, one count of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, two counts of first-degree armed robbery, one count of first-degree kidnapping, one count of third-degree criminal restraint, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, two counts of fourth-degree endangering, one count of fourth-degree obstruction, and one count of fourth-degree resisting arrest. 

An investigation by Officer Robert Montalvo of the Woodbridge Police Department and Detective Linda Infusino of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined that on April 16, 2021 in the 9 o’clock evening hour, an adult female and an adult male were approached in the area of Lee Street and Scott Place by Austin and another suspect and then held at gunpoint. The investigation further determined the female victim was sexually assaulted and the personal effects of both were taken at gunpoint. 

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

Authorities are still searching for Austin’s co-defendant – a slim white or Hispanic male with brown hair and brown eyes who is between 5 foot 5 inches and 5 foot 9 inches tall.  This suspect is believed to have worn a gray Nike hoodie and white Nike sneakers at the time of the assault.  An image of the suspect who is at large is attached. 

The investigation is active and continuing.  Anyone with information or surveillance footage of the area is asked to contact Officer Montalvo of the Woodbridge Police Department at (732) 634-7700 or Detective Infusino of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-4340. Tips may also be submitted to www.middlesextips.com.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Austin are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Dumpster Fire Spreads To Commercial Building, Firefighters Knock Down Flames

April 28, 2021

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township Fire Department was dispatched to the 1st block of Princess Diana Lane near New Willow Street for a dumpster fire with exposure to a commercial building.

First arriving firefighters found a well involved dumpster fire spreading onto the side of the building and to the roof area. A full first alarm was called for and mutual aid from Trenton Fire Department was also sent to the scene. Firefighters were able knock down the flames and bring the blaze under control in about 20 minutes. Firefighters remained on scene to evacuate smoke from the commercial building and hit hot spots. No further information is available at this time.

Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News


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Victim In Critical Condition From New York And Olden Avenue Shooting

April 28, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Department, Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko told MidJersey.news

Today around 11:30 am, Trenton Police Officers responded to the area of Olden Avenue near New York Avenue after receiving reports of shots being fired.  While officers were on location, they were notified that a victim arrived at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in a private vehicle. 

The victim was struck multiple times by gunfire and was listed in critical condition.  The investigation is being conducted by Sergeant Yolanda Ward and the Trenton Police Shooting Response Team. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Trenton Police anonymous tip line at 609-989-DRUG (3784) or email Sgt. Ward at yward@trentonpolice.net   




Truck Carrying Two Vehicles Flips, Causes Traffic Jam On NJ Turnpike

April 28, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER)– A pickup truck hauling a van and a sedan flipped over on the New Jersey Turnpike, causing a traffic jam, Wednesday afternoon.

It occurred around 2:40 pm. Robbinsville Township Fire Department along with Bordentown Township Fire Department responded to the Northbound outer lanes near milepost 57.2 for a reported crash with three vehicles overturned.

Fire Companies arrived on the scene and secured the three vehicles. No injuries were sustained in the incident.

New Jersey State Police had the shoulder and right lane shut down for accident investigation and cleanup. It also appears that there was a partial shutdown of the Northbound outer lanes.

No further info is available at this time.


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Governor Phil Murphy Asks For Help To Identify Vandals Who Damaged WWII Memorial So They Can Be Brought To Justice

April 28, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy told MidJersey.news this afternoon in a statement:

“Trenton’s World War II Memorial is not just stone and metal. It is just as much the blood, sweat, tears, and toil of a generation who saved our world from the darkest forces of fascism. Desecrating this memorial is dishonoring the sacrifice of thousands of New Jerseyans. We ask anyone with information as to the identity of the person or persons responsible to come forward, so those who vandalized the memorial can be held to account and brought to justice.” — Governor Phil Murphy

If you know of the vandals please contact the Trenton Police Department.

MidJersey.news after reading a Trenton Orbit Facebook post about the damage yesterday morning notified the Governor’s Office about the damage and they sent the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to assess the damage to the monument.


Yesterday’s MidJersey.news story here: DEVELOPING: Vandals Desecrate WWII Memorial In Trenton


NJ World War II Memorial Page:

The State of New Jersey has taken the initiative to honor and remember our “Greatest Generation” of citizens by creating a memorial in Trenton across from the State House at Veterans Park.

Fittingly, the theme for New Jersey’s World War II Memorial is “Victory.” The memorial honors and pays tribute to the courage and the many sacrifices of the World War II Generation. Over 560,000 New Jerseyans served in the armed forces and the state was an important center of industrial production, military training and related activities in support of the war effort.

The Memorial is accessible at all hours at 125 W. State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608


According to Wikipedia “The Fallen Soldier Battle CrossBattlefield Cross or Battle Cross is a symbolic replacement of a cross, or marker appropriate to an individual service-member’s religion, on the battlefield or at the base camp for a soldier who has been killed. It is made up of the soldier’s rifle stuck into the ground or into the soldier’s boots, with helmet on top. Dog tags are sometimes placed on the rifle, and the boots of the dead soldier can be placed next to the rifle. The purpose is to show honor and respect for the dead at the battle site. The practice started during or prior to the American Civil War, as a means of identifying the bodies on the battleground before removal. Today, it is a means of showing respect for the dead amongst the still living members of the troop. It is commonly seen in the field or base camp after a battle, especially among American troops in Afghanistan or Iraq. While it is used less today as a means of identification, it still serves as a method of mourning among the living, as attending the funeral is not always possible for soldiers still in combat.



Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

Multi-Truck Accident On NJ Turnpike

April 28, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Around 11:30 am multiple trucks collided in the outer lanes near mile post 75.5 south bound with reports of also damaging a NJ State Police Vehicle. Two ambulances responded to the scene. No further information is available at the time of this report.

Once official information is available the story will be updated.


Seaside Park Man Charged With Failure To Register As A Sex Offender

April 28, 2021

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on April 27, 2021, Thomas Lockhart, 61, of Seaside Park, was arrested and charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2d(1), also known as Megan’s Law.

An investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit and Seaside Park Police Department revealed that Lockhart – a previously convicted sex offender – had been living at the Desert Palm Motel in Seaside Park, and then allegedly moved without registering or notifying the appropriate local law enforcement agencies. On April 19, 2021, a warrant was issued for Lockhart’s arrest. As a result, on April 27, 2021, Officers of the Manchester Township Police Department performed a motor vehicle stop on a vehicle being operated by Lockhart. Lockhart was taken into custody without incident, and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he remains lodged pending a detention hearing.

“Since 1994, Megan’s Law requires certain sex offenders to register with their local police departments whenever they move and/or change their residential address. Failure to comply with this obligation is a third degree crime,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, working in conjunction with our local police departments, will be vigilant in making sure that individuals required to register under Megan’s Law are in compliance with their obligations,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.

Anyone in possession of information concerning this case, or others allegedly violating Megan’s Law requirements, are encouraged to contact Sergeant John Argento of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 929 2027, extension 2903. The information may be provided anonymously. For further information, please visit the State Police Sex Offender Internet Registry at http://www.njsp.org/sex-offender-registry/index.shtml.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit, Seaside Park Police Department, and Manchester Township Police Department, for their cooperative assistance in connection with this investigation.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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Governor Murphy Announces the “Your Voice, Your Shot” Video Contest

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy today announced the Your Voice, Your Shot video contest which urges New Jersey residents to share why they and others are getting vaccinated. Launching today, the contest calls for compelling, creative, and captivating video. After the submission window closes, a select number of finalists will be chosen. The public will then be invited to vote on their favorites. The winning video will be used in the State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 public health campaign.

“To encourage New Jerseyans to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting vaccinated, I can’t think of better messengers than the community itself,” said Governor Murphy. “We’re fortunate so many talented, creative, and passionate individuals call our state home. So the same way we’ve made previous calls to serve in support of our state’s response to the pandemic, we’re inviting the public to get behind and in front of the camera for an important cause. Whether you’re a filmmaker, community group member, or just someone with a smartphone and a story to tell, we want to hear from you.” 

“We know how important elevating community voices is to advancing our public health goals,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “From the beginning, the Department of Health recognized the importance of engaging with the public to communicate critical information and keep each other safe. I am looking forward to taking this challenge to the community and amplifying their voices.” 

“Our people are New Jersey’s greatest resource,” said Beth Simone Noveck, the State’s Chief Innovation Officer. “Already there have been so many incredible examples of the public rising to meet the challenge of the moment. By providing the right tools and platforms, we can tap into the public’s passion, expertise, and know-how.” 

Contest participant’s videos must be original, consistent with NJDOH guidelines, and explain why they or others are getting or have been vaccinated. While videos may be in any language, the content must not be more than 30 seconds long and is subject to other limitations. To enter the contest, participants must share their video on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok), tag @NJGov, and include the hashtag #YourVoiceYourShotNJ. The deadline for submissions is May 11, 2021. More information, including additional contest guidelines, can be found at covid19.nj.gov/yourvoice


Individual Responsible for Sending Racist Email to Councilperson Arrested

April 28, 2021

OLD BRIDGE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Acting Chief Joseph P. Mandola, Jr. of the Old Bridge Township Police Department announced a Township man who allegedly sent a harassing email to an Old Bridge Township councilperson has been arrested and charged with bias intimidation.

Yesterday, Adam Valvo, 52, of Old Bridge was charged and  arrested for two counts of fourth-degree bias intimidation and one count of harassment. 

A joint investigation by the Old Bridge Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office was initiated after authorities learned a racist email had been sent to Old Bridge Township Councilperson Edina Brown on March 7, 2021.  The investigation was assisted by the Division of Criminal Justice, Bias Crimes Unit.  The investigation by Detective William Dugan of the Old Bridge Police Department and Detective Jason Mendelson of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office determined Valvo authored and sent the email, which contained profanities and racial epithets, to Councilperson Brown.  

“Let me be clear: hate has no home in New Jersey, and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who seek to harm, harass, or intimidate others through their racist actions,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “We have zero tolerance for acts of bias and hate in the Garden State, and I commend Middlesex Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Old Bridge Police Department for their successful investigation, identifying the alleged actor who targeted Councilperson Brown last month with a vile, racist, and threatening email.”

“I commend all the law enforcement agencies for their professional  and successful investigation. The Middlesex County Prosecutors Office has a proud tradition of zero tolerance for any acts of bias and hate” said Prosecutor Ciccone. 

The investigation is active and continuing.  Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Dugan at (732) 721-5600 or Detective Mendelson at (732) 745-8382.

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Valvo are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Note to editors: Questions may be directed to Assistant Prosecutor Conner Ouellette, Public Information Officer, at mcpopress@co.middlesex.nj.us


Monmouth County, Perrineville, NJ Man And Other NJ Residents Injured In San Diego, CA Shooting

April 28, 2021

SAN DIEGO, CA–On April 22, 2021, at 10:30 p.m., the San Diego Police Communications Center received numerous calls reporting that a shooting had occurred at 500 J Street in the Gaslamp District. More calls were received stating that the suspect had walked away and been involved in another shooting at 5th Avenue and Island Avenue.

Officers from Central Division arrived at 500 J Street and found a male down on the sidewalk with at least one apparent gunshot wound to his upper body. Officers began providing medical aid until relieved by San Diego Fire-Rescue personnel. Unfortunately, the male was pronounced deceased at the scene.

San Diego Police Homicide Detectives were called to the scene and are currently investigating the incident. While this complicated investigation continues, detectives have learned the male was standing on the sidewalk at 500 J Street when he was confronted by the suspect. Without provocation, the suspect produced a handgun and fired at the victim. The suspect began to walk away, but quickly turned and fired again at the victim. The suspect then walked northbound on 5th Avenue where he confronted a group of males at 500 5th Avenue. The suspect again produced a handgun and fired at the group, striking 4 of them. The suspect continued walking northbound, but was followed by citizens who detained him as officers arrived at that location. The suspect continued to struggle with officers, prompting an officer to deploy his Taser to subdue the suspect. He was taken into custody without further incident. A firearm was recovered from the suspect.

The deceased male has been identified as Justice Boldin, 28. He was employed as a valet when he was killed.

The injured males have also been identified. Vincent Gazzani, a 27 year-old resident of Perrineville, New Jersey, sustained serious gunshot injuries to his upper body. Gazzani remains hospitalized in stable condition. Steven Ely, a 68 year-old resident of San Diego, remains hospitalized in stable condition with a gunshot wound to his torso. Alexander Balis, a 26 year-old resident of Mullica Hill, New Jersey, has been released from the hospital after being treated for a gunshot wound to his arm. Jatil Kodati, a 28 year-old resident of Jersey City, New Jersey, was treated at the scene for a gunshot injury to his arm.

The suspect, Travis Sarreshteh, 32, has been arrested. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment after the Taser deployment and other injuries sustained when he was tackled by citizens.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.


April 23, 2021 press release:

On April 22, 2021, at 10:30 p.m., the San Diego Police Communications Center received numerous calls reporting that a shooting had occurred at 500 J Street in the Gaslamp District. More calls were received stating that the suspect had walked away and been involved in another shooting at 5th Avenue and Island Avenue.

Officers from Central Division arrived at 500 J Street and found a male down on the sidewalk with at least one apparent gunshot wound to his upper body. Officers began providing medical aid until relieved by San Diego Fire-Rescue personnel. Unfortunately, the male was pronounced deceased at the scene.

San Diego Police Homicide Detectives were called to the scene and are currently investigating the incident. While it is still early in this complicated investigation, detectives have learned the male was standing on the sidewalk at 500 J Street when he was confronted by the suspect. After a brief verbal exchange, the suspect produced a handgun and fired at the victim. The suspect began to walk away, but quickly turned and fired again at the victim. The suspect then walked northbound on 5th Avenue where he confronted a group of males at 500 5th Avenue. The suspect again produced a handgun and fired at the group, striking 4 of them. The suspect continued walking northbound, but was followed by citizens who attempted to detain him as officers arrived at that location. The suspect continued to struggle with officers, prompting an officer to deploy his Taser to subdue the suspect. He was taken into custody without further incident. A firearm was recovered from the suspect.

Detectives remain at the scene, collecting evidence and attempting to locate witnesses. Traffic in the area is expected to be impacted for several hours as the investigation continues.

The deceased male has been identified, however his name is not being released at this time. He is described as a 28 year-old White male.

The injured males have also been identified, however their names are not being released at this time. They are described as a 27 year-old White male with serious gunshot injuries to his upper body, a 68 year-old White male with a gunshot wound to his torso, and a 26 year-old White male with a gunshot wound to his arm. These victims were transported to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries. A 5th victim, a 28 year-old male with a gunshot injury to his arm, was treated at the scene.

The suspect has been arrested, however his name is not being released at this time. He is described as a 32 year-old White male. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment after the Taser deployment and other injuries sustained when he was tackled by citizens.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.


West Windsor Police Seek Information On Actors That Stole A BMW And Other Criminal Acts

April 28, 2021

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–On Sunday April 25, 2021 the WWPD had multiple reports involving criminal activity at the Windsor Haven Development during the overnight hours.  A 2003 BMW 525 was stolen from a driveway while other unsecured vehicles in the neighborhood were rifled through.  We are currently searching for anyone who may have Video Surveillance in the area.  To date, we are looking for (2) actors who were in a dark colored Jeep Wrangler (4) door with unknown license plates (See attached photo of SIMILAR to type of vehicle).    

     If you have any information that may be helpful in assisting us, please contact the WWPD at (609) 799-1222, our Anonymous Tip Line at (609) 799-0452, responding to this Nixle, or contacting Det. J. Jones at JJones@westwindsorpolice.com.  As always, we thank our community for helping us to help you.–Det. Lt. Lee 


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