FREEHOLD – The names of 22 law enforcement officers, who lost their lives in the line of duty in Monmouth County, are now enshrined in a newly installed memorial outside the headquarters of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. The Law Enforcement Memorial is a lasting reminder of the sacrifices made for public safety, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
“We gather here today to honor the memory and mourn the terrible loss of 22 brave Americans who put on a uniform and answered the call, giving their lives in the performance of their sworn duties. Each died under different circumstances, but all had one common thread — the call to duty.
Each understood the risks of heeding that call, but never shied away, even as their loved ones worried at home,” said Prosecutor Gramiccioni.
Prosecutor Gramiccioni was joined at the dedication by surviving family members of the men and women whose names are etched on the memorial. Additionally, First Lady of the State of New Jersey Tammy Murphy, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, and Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone, each offered solemn remarks at the dedication. Monmouth County legislative representatives, county commissioners, local police chiefs, and a long list of other local, county, and state officials attended the ceremony.
The line of duty deaths of the officers honored on the memorial spans more than 122 years, beginning in 1899. Each officer’s name, agency, and date of their death, referred to as their “End of Watch (EOW)” are etched into the black granite stone. The memorial is made of two tiers of black granite and includes a fountain of water that creates a soothing waterfall. The top face of the memorial is surrounded by an etching of the shoulder patch for every law enforcement agency in Monmouth County. On the north side of the memorial, along its base, are the 22 names of the individual officers who died in the line of duty. The memorial will serve as a peaceful place for the family members of those who died and for their fellow officers to reflect upon and honor their sacrifices:
Constable James Walsh, Red Bank Police Department, was attempting an arrest when he was shot by a suspect. EOW: November 13, 1899.
Patrolman Charles Franklin Lippincott, Asbury Park Police Department, and another officer were directed to handle a report of a husband threatening to kill his wife. Upon arrival, Officer Lippincott ordered him to halt. The accused appeared willing to surrender. When Officer Lippincott placed his hand on the suspect’s shoulder, the suspect pulled a concealed weapon and fatally shot the officer in the chest. EOW: December 10, 1911.
Patrolman Herman Kohler Emmons, Long Branch Police Department, was shot and killed by a suspect while attempting to place the suspect under arrest. EOW: December 17, 1921.
Trooper William H. Marshall, New Jersey State Police, was killed in a motorcycle accident while on patrol. He had been with the agency for just over two years. EOW: December 12, 1923.
Trooper Herman Gloor, Jr., New Jersey State Police, was killed in a motorcycle accident while on patrol. He had been with the agency for just over two years. EOW: May 9, 1926.
Patrolman Robert Leroy Applegate, Neptune Township Police Department, was killed when his police motorcycle was struck by a drunk driver. He was responding to another accident when the incident occurred. EOW: September 6, 1931.
Police Officer William H. Letts, of the Union Beach Police Department, was shot in the head, while off duty and in his home, by the man he was investigating as the prime suspect in an armed robbery. EOW: September 24, 1946.
Trooper John Anderson, New Jersey State Police, was shot and killed while investigating a stolen car on the Garden State Parkway. EOW: November 1, 1955.
Trooper Finley C. Fuchs, New Jersey State Police, was killed in an automobile accident while in route to a court appointment. EOW: December 19, 1957.
Trooper Raymond P. Fiola, New Jersey State Police, was killed in an automobile accident while he was on patrol. The collision occurred on Route 526 in Monmouth County. EOW: February 19, 1962.
Sergeant Charles M. Cozzens, Bradley Beach Police Department, was killed in an automobile accident when his patrol car struck a utility pole on Main Street. EOW: August 8, 1964.
Patrolman William A. Richards, Long Branch Police Department, suffered a fatal heart attack while attempting to subdue a suspect who had escaped from other officers earlier in the day. EOW: October 23, 1967.
Sergeant Joseph M. Monteparo, Asbury Park Police Department, was stabbed to death while attempting to talk a man into dropping a knife. Sergeant Monteparo was familiar with the suspect and had dealt with him on several occasions. EOW: April 24, 1971.
David John Lake, Chief of Police, Ocean Grove Police Department, had a heart attack while pursuing and grappling with a larceny suspect. He later died from the physical stress. EOW: August 23, 1971.
Sergeant Frank Peters, Keansburg Police Department, was killed as the result of an accidental gunshot wound while on duty. EOW: February 11, 1972.
Patrolman Jack A. Wright, Bradley Beach Police Department, was shot and killed as he attempted to stop a hold-up and robbery. EOW: May 31, 1976.
Special Officer Ronald P. Kleber, Middletown Police Department, was struck and killed by a drunk driver while directing traffic. EOW: October 23, 1982.
Trooper II Frances J. Bellaran, New Jersey State Police died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident on May 20, 1996. He was attempting to stop a speeding motorcycle when he crashed and sustained fatal injuries. EOW: May 23, 1996.
Detective Sgt. Patrick A. King, Long Branch Police Department, was on duty, in uniform when a man shot him in the back of the head while standing at a counter ordering his meal. The suspect then stole Sergeant King’s car and led police on 60-mile chase before crashing the police vehicle and being killed in a shootout. EOW: November 20, 1997.
Trooper Marc Kenneth Castellano, New Jersey State Police, was struck by an out-of- control car as he was standing on the shoulder of the road near his patrol vehicle. Trooper Castellano was transported to the hospital where he died. EOW: June 6, 2010.
Trooper Anthony A. Raspa, New Jersey State Police, was killed in a vehicle crash on I- 195 in Monmouth County. EOW: May 30, 2015.
Detective April Bird, Asbury Park Police Department, was on duty when she suffered a heart attack during a shooting investigation. She died three days later. EOW: August 2, 2019.
“These 22 officers who died never asked for, or wanted to be heroes, but sometimes as fate has it, it just turns out that way. The men and women in blue know this possibility, but they follow the calling in the name of community service. These 22 fallen officers had wives and husbands, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and children young and old,” said Prosecutor Gramiccioni. “They shared a commitment to something larger than themselves – a call to serve the greater good. None sought glory, riches, or their names on billboards or in lights. Their reward came from their pride in service.”
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–At 5:20 p.m. the Robbinsville Township Fire Department was dispatched to I-195 West Bound at mile marker 6.4 for a brush fire. Upon arrival firefighters found a mini van type vehicle well involved in fire. Firefighters quickly extinguished the vehicle. No further information is available.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)—Sometime around 8:30 p.m. the Trenton Police Department responded to the area of Oakland Street and Hoffman Avenue after hearing shots fired.
According to Trenton Police Department Detective Sergeant Cynthia Hargis after the shooting was heard by the TPD Street Crimes Unit they pursued the suspect shooter riding a quad ATV. After a pursuit Shiquise Blanche, 31 years old from Trenton was found with a gun and arrested.
The victim 21-year-old Yasmin Robinson walked into the Trauma Center at Capital Health and alleged that while riding a quad ATV, he was shot in the buttocks by a suspect riding a quad ATV in the area of Oakland Street and Hoffman Avenue.
TRENTON (MERCER)– Trenton firefighters responded to the 300 block of Hudson Street around 7:00 this evening on a reported house fire.
The all hands was called when multiple callers stated smoke showing and that two people were trapped in the house. Companies arrived and stretched a line to quickly extinguish the fire. Companies began to go available around 7:20 pm, holding the scene with two engines and a ladder truck.
A total of four ambulances were dispatched to the scene, and at least two of the ambulances transported people to the hospital.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Vincent J. Calcagno, who has served the former Washington Township and later the Township of Robbinsville with distinction since 1994, informed Administration and members of the Senior Advisory Council Tuesday that he will not seek re-election on Township Council with his current term set to expire on December 31.
Mr. Calcagno is a well-traveled and accomplished telecommunications professional, longtime resident of Robbinsville and the longest-tenured member of Council.
“I never imagined when I moved to Robbinsville in 1988 that I would be involved in local government in any way,” Calcagno said. “Then Ed Nelson stepped down from the Township committee in the old form of government. They asked me to run, and from there I was hooked on public service and community involvement. That involvement has benefitted me in every single facet of my life. I still very much enjoy it, but there are so many smart, talented young residents in town and they should have a voice for the next generations.”
Mr. Calcagno first was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Nelson in 1994 as part of the former Township Committee form of government, before serving two terms as Mayor in 1999 and 2004. He also was Deputy Mayor in 1998 and 2000. The January 7, 2021 reorganization meeting marked Mr. Calcagno’s seventh stint as Vice President. He continues to serve as Council liaison to the Senior Citizen Advisory Council and has been a staunch advocate for our senior community.
“When I first came onboard our Senior Center was empty and there were virtually no programs,” Mr. Calcagno said. “That really struck me and left a profound mark. Now, our Senior Center is thriving with incredible programs and it’s been a total team effort. That took the incredible work of many, many people, not just myself. We are all eager to have them return very soon in the aftermath of COVID-19.”
On June 25, 2020, Mr. Calcagno was one of 33 members elected to the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Elected Officials Hall of Fame.
“I will miss being there to help solve problems,” he said. “I will miss being at the supermarket and listening to the questions and suggestions from our residents. I really will. My first question back to them was almost always: “What can we do to help?” I’ll miss that interaction. I’ll miss the people I’ve worked side by side with, from my fellow Councilmen and Councilwomen to Mayor (Dave) Fried, (Administrator) Joy Tozzi, (Senior Center Director) Renee (Burns) and all of our police, fire and DPW guys. The thing I enjoy most is that none of us who work for the town are ever satisfied. We don’t do the mundane. None of us are afraid to tackle big issues and big problems. The energy of the people who serve in those buildings has been an amazing thing to be part of. We want our residents to just focus on their family and their lives, and not worry about their local government. That’s been our goal and I feel very comfortable leaving Robbinsville in a place where residents can do just that.”
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Mercer 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 the City of Trenton, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Kadeem A. Dockery, 29, of Trenton, pleaded guilty 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 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 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 Justin Spry in attempting to set fire to the police vehicle. Spry was arrested on scene, but Dockery and Melecio fled. Law enforcement later identified Dockery and Melecio through analysis of street camera and other video footage. They were arrested on Aug. 5, 2020.
The charge of attempting to interfere with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder – to which Dockery, Spry and Melecio have now pleaded guilty – carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 21, 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.
Defense counsel: Lawrence G. Welle Esq., Wall, New Jersey
BERKLEY TOWNSHIP – ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK, NJ (OCEAN)–Governor Phil Murphy today announced several new vaccination incentives as part of “Operation Jersey Summer”, the statewide public awareness campaign aimed at vaccinating all eligible individuals who live, work, or study in New Jersey against COVID-19. The new incentives include a State Parks Vax Pass, providing free access to New Jersey’s 51 state parks and facilities including Island Beach State Park; a free glass of wine at participating New Jersey wineries; and dinner with Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy.
“Millions of New Jerseyans have rolled up their sleeves and received a vaccination to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19, but there is still much work to be done in order to reach our goal of 4.7 million fully vaccinated New Jersey adults by June 30,” said Governor Murphy. “In partnership with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Garden State Wine Growers Association, we are giving New Jerseyans more reasons to step up and visit one of our 1,700 vaccination sites to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. We are determined to reach our vaccination goals and make this the best Jersey summer yet.”
“With continually improving public health indicators, we want every New Jersey resident to get a State Parks Vax Pass and get out to enjoy our incredible State Parks with their families and friends,” said Shawn LaTourette, Acting Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “From High Point in the northwest to Cape May Point in the southeast, our state parks provide a great place for New Jerseyans to connect with one another and with nature. A free State Parks Vax Pass is just one small way that we can thank our fellow residents for taking good care of themselves and each other by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.”
“New Jersey state parks are second to none and offer a great diversity of outdoors recreational experiences,” said New Jersey Parks and Forestry Director John Cecil. “We look forward to welcoming everyone this summer and truly hope many people take advantage of this opportunity to save money while doing the right thing to help end the pandemic.”
“The Garden State Wine Growers Association is proud to have nine of our member wineries join in raising awareness for the Covid-19 vaccination program by offering a free glass of wine to all those of age that show they’ve received their first vaccination dose this May,” said Tom Cosentino, Executive Director, Garden State Wine Growers Association. “We encourage all New Jersey residents to get vaccinated so they can come out this summer to our vineyards and enjoy the award-winning wines New Jersey vintners are producing.”
Vax and Visit with the State Parks Vax Pass
Beginning Thursday, May 27, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will offer a free State Parks Vax Pass under the new “Vax and Visit” campaign to all New Jersey residents who receive at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccination by July 4, 2021. The State Parks Vax Pass, which will be of the same value as the Annual State Parks Pass, will allow free access to all of New Jersey’s 51 State parks and forest facilities that charge daily walk-in or parking fees, from Thursday, May 27 through December 31, 2021. New Jersey residents who have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to request a State Parks Vax Pass upon entry at any one of the state’s 51 parks, including Island Beach State Park. The Department of Environmental Protection will also provide refunds to residents who already purchased Annual State Park Passes this year and have been fully vaccinated.
The State Parks Vax Pass, which will be of the same value as the Annual State Parks Pass, will allow free access to New Jersey’s 51 State parks and forest facilities that charge daily walk-in or parking fees, from Thursday, May 28 through December 31, 2021. New Jersey residents who have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to request a State Parks Vax Pass upon entry at any one of the state’s 51 parks, including Island Beach State Park. The Department of Environmental Protection will also provide refunds to residents who already purchased Annual State Park Passes this year and have been fully vaccinated.
Uncork the Vaccination
In partnership with the Garden State Wine Growers Association, New Jerseyans ages 21 and over who receive their first COVID-19 vaccination in the month of May can visit one of New Jersey’s participating wineries and receive a free glass of wine. Participating wineries include Amalthea Cellars, Auburn Road Vineyards, Bellview Winery, DiMatteo Vineyards, Salem Oak Vineyards, Terhune Orchards, Tomasello Winery, Villa Milagro Vineyards in Pohatcong, and White Horse Winery.
Dinner with the Governor and First Lady
Beginning May 19, individuals age 18 or older who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination in New Jersey since the roll-out of the state’s program in December, can enter to win dinner along with a guest with Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy. The winner will have the choice between dinner at Drumthwacket, the official Governor’s residence located in Princeton, or the Governor’s residence in Island Beach State Park. Entries must be submitted by May 31. To enter, visit covid19.nj.gov
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on May 19, 2021, the Honorable Wendel E. Daniels, P.J.Cr.P., ordered that Michael Mahan, 38, of Ewing Township, shall remain detained in the Ocean County Jail pending trial on the charge of Attempted Murder in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:11-3a(1), relative to an incident that occurred in Jackson Township on May 8, 2021. Mahan has also been charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b; Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4d; Unlawful Possession of a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5d; Terroristic Threats in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3b; and Eluding in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b.
On May 8, 2021, Jackson Township Police Officers responded to a 911 call for a report of a stabbing incident on Maria Street. Responding Officers discovered a female with a large slash across her face who was bleeding heavily. An investigation conducted by the Jackson Township Police revealed that the female victim had been followed to her residence by Mahan as part of an apparent road rage incident. Mahan held a knife to the victim’s neck, threatened to kill her, and then proceeded to slash her face. As a neighbor intervened and called 911, Mahan fled the area. Mahan’s vehicle was observed by Officers traveling on Toms River Road. A pursuit was initiated, and Mahan fled at a high rate of speed. As Mahan was attempting to navigate a turn onto West Veterans Highway, he struck another vehicle. As he continued travelling at a high rate of speed on West Veterans Highway, Mahan’s vehicle collided with yet another vehicle – forcing it off the road. Mahan’s vehicle traveled approximately 500 more feet before it became disabled; Mahan was subsequently taken into custody without incident. The female victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, and the occupants of the two vehicles were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Mahan has been lodged in the Ocean County Jail since his apprehension. The detention hearing was handled by Assistant Prosecutor Alex Becker.
Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Jackson Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Mahan’s arrest.
The charges referenced above are merely accusations, and 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. R.P.C. 3.6(b)(6).
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A little past 11:00 p.m. May 18, 2021 the Trenton Police Department was detailed to a domestic violence/family dispute in the 600 Block of Olden Avenue. According to Detective Sergeant Cynthia Hargis of the Trenton Police Department, officers arrived on the scene to investigate and the alleged victim ran outside and informed officers that the suspect had a gun. Trenton Police Department SWAT Team was activated and is currently trying to negotiate with the suspect.
Initial radio reports that a person is barricaded on the 3rd floor of the home and possibly armed. Olden Avenue is shut down for police activity at New York Avenue to St. Joes Avenue. TEMS and Paramedics are standing by near New York Avenue and the bridge.
SWAT and Police officers started breaking the scene down around 1:52 a.m. the situation has ended.
Trenton Police reported that the subject was taken into custody.