ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Around 10:52 p.m. a vehicle overturned on the NJTP ramp to I-195 West with a lane blockage. One person appeared to suffer minor injuries. Robbinsville Fire Department and EMS were on location. Robbinsville EMS transported one to RWJ Hospital at Hamilton. NJ State Police were on scene and set up a detour until the vehicle could be towed away. NJ State Police is investigating the crash. No further information is available at this time.
LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–The Lakewood Police Department responded to the 500 Block of Massachusetts Avenue for shots fired around 8:30 p.m. There were reports of a vehicle and garages hit by gunfire and shell casings were recovered. No other information is available at this time.
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH) – Two men have been charged via direct indictment for a six-figure theft connected to a contracted trip for eight people to attend the 2019 Masters Tournament that never materialized, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Thursday.
John Donadio, 56, of Belmar and Michael Moyer, 56, of New Orleans, Louisiana, is each charged with second-degree Theft.
An investigation by the Belmar Police Department that grew to also involve investigators with the Prosecutor’s Office determined that the primary victim in the case had entered into a contract with Eclipse Global Events, a Belmar-based company controlled by the defendants, for the trip to the annual golf tournament held in Augusta, Georgia. The contracted charge for the trip was more than $126,000, to include lodging, tickets (both practice rounds and tournament rounds), hospitality events, and local transportation for all eight travelers.
Yet shortly after the contracted amount was paid in full and immediately prior to the event, the victim was advised that their payment was “late,” and that he would not be receiving the trip – nor a refund.
The victims missed a good one – Tiger Woods won his first major tournament title in more than a decade at the 2019 Masters, coming from behind in the final round in one of the most significant moments in the recent history of the sport.
A Monmouth County Grand Jury returned the indictment late last month, and Donadio turned himself in on Friday, October 1. Moyer did the same five days later.
The case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Kristen Anastos. Donadio is being represented by Thomas Huth, Esq., with an office in Red Bank, while attorney information for Moyer was not immediately available.
Anyone with additional information about the activities of defendants Donadio or Moyer is being asked to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Michael Acquaviva at 1-800-533-7443.
Convictions on these charges are commonly punishable by 5 to 10 years in state prison.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–According to the NJ State Police at approximately 6:04 a.m. several vehicles struck debris, described as a metal gate, in the roadway located in the area of mile post 61 northbound on the inner roadway of the New Jersey Turnpike. Approximately 14 vehicles sustained tire damage.
City on Track for an Unprecedented 30 Months Without a Local Purpose Tax Increase
October 7, 2021
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced today the adoption of a six-month budget that completes Trenton’s transition to a calendar-year cycle and secures millions for street paving, rank and file employee salary increases, and other critical expenses, all without needing a local purpose tax increase.
“My thanks to City Council for adopting this budget and to DCA for its assistance throughout this whole process,” said Mayor Gusciora. “My administration worked hard to deliver a six-month budget that not only finalizes our transition to a more fiscally prudent calendar-year budget cycle, but also sets aside millions to increase employee salaries and fund extensive paving projects throughout Trenton. The best part is we can do all of this without asking for a municipal tax increase from our residents.”
Trenton City Council voted on Tuesday to adopt the budget by a vote of six to one.
City Council approved an ordinance on June 10, 2021 that moved the City’s budget from a fiscal-year cycle to a calendar-year cycle. During the 18-month budget transition from July 2021 through December 2022, Trenton only needs to make one pension payment in April 2022. However, the City will still get two state aid payments in November 2021 and November 2022, resulting in millions of dollars in additional revenue.
Due to the one-time infusion of state aid, the Gusciora Administration also predicts a zero percent tax increase in the twelve-month Calendar Year 2022 budget, which will result in 30 months without a local tax increase.
The finalized budget includes $2 million to help fund a Department of Public Works paving project targeting more than 50 roads that is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2022. The budget also includes over $4 million in salary adjustments for city employees.
The budget also makes use of $7 million in revenue replacement under the American Rescue Plan. The Mayor last week released the second version of his Trenton American Rescue Plan (ARP) proposal, which incorporates City Council and community input in the development of new spending items regarding youth engagement, public safety, and infrastructure. The updated plan, which now outlines over $71 million in spending items, can be viewed on https://talktrenton.org/.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The New Jersey Department of Education announced that it has made available extensive online resources that school districts and educators can use to incorporate climate change education across K-12 classrooms beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.
In June of 2020, First Lady Tammy Murphy announced that the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted her initiative to make New Jersey the first state in the nation to incorporate climate change across its revised state K-12 learning standards. The NJDOE establishes the New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), which determine what schools are required to teach in nine content areas across each grade level. With the adoption of the 2020 NJSLS, climate change education will be incorporated across seven content areas—21st Century Life and Careers, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages. The two remaining content areas, mathematics and English language arts, have not yet been eligible for review under the Murphy Administration given the five-year review cycle. The resources announced today will help educators meet the new climate change requirements so they can prepare students to understand how and why climate change occurs, the impact it has on our local and global communities, and to respond to climate change with informed and sustainable solutions.
“For a long time, many viewed climate change as an abstract problem, but here in New Jersey, we are already experiencing its devastating effects, including extreme flooding from recent storms,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “This generation of students will feel the impact of climate change more than any other, and beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, our students will be the first and only in the nation to have climate change education incorporated at every grade level. By providing these resources to our educators, we are in turn equipping the leaders of tomorrow with the critical tools they will need to face the real-life challenges of climate change.”
“New Jersey’s groundbreaking academic standards, and the accompanying resources that we are releasing today, will give educators, parents, and other stakeholders greater tools and information on the impacts of climate change,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “Students throughout New Jersey will enhance their understanding of how climate change poses a threat to our environment, and actions necessary to mitigate the threat.”
The NJDOE’s Climate Change webpage provides resources such as:
Instructional resources – such as webinars, instructional strategies, literature, and standards-based lessons – by grade level and by subject;
Links, videos, highlights and news stories to innovative lessons on climate change occurring in New Jersey schools;
Activities and projects for students in and out of the classroom;
Opportunities for students to take part in community engagement;
A link to the First Lady’s climate change webpage; and
A portal for educators and other stakeholders to share their stories, feedback and resources.
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 two Trenton men in the October 3, 2021 homicide of Elias Juarez Lopez.
Thaddeus J. Adams, 40, and Clarence Williams, 35, are each charged with murder, felony murder, attempted murder, two counts of robbery, and multiple weapons offenses. Both men were arrested Thursday morning in Trenton by members of the Mercer County Tactical Response Team with assistance from HTF detectives and the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force. The prosecutor’s office will file motions to detain the men pending trial.
At approximately 12:50 a.m. on Sunday, October 3, Trenton police responded to the intersection of Roebling Avenue and Washington Street for shots fired. An adult male victim, later identified as 31-year old Lopez of Princeton, was located in the 800 block of Roebling Avenue with no pulse and transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On October 7, 2021 at approximately 8:15 AM, Officers were dispatched to Bishop Auto Sales on the 2000 block of South Clinton Avenue on a report of a male stealing catalytic converters. The suspect was seen on security cameras in the lot of the business attempting to steal a catalytic converter from underneath one of the vehicles parked in the lot. Upon arrival Officer L. Mutek observed a male fitting the description of the suspect fleeing the area on foot. The Officer briefly lost sight of the male before finding him hiding behind a garbage bucket on South Clinton Avenue. He was placed under arrest and identified as Jose Collazo, 24, of Trenton. A sawzall was located next to the garbage bucket where Collazo was located. Further investigation by Detective C. Pullen found that Collazo had stolen catalytic converters from Bishop Auto Sales on October 6, 2021 and catalytic converters from GCM Auto, located on the 1700 block of Chambers Street, over the past month. Collazo was charged with Theft (12 counts), Criminal Attempt Theft (2 counts), Possession of Burglar’s Tools (2 counts), and Obstruction by Flight.
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Chris Pullen of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at 609-581-4080 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.
Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
NEWARK, N.J. – A Cumberland County, New Jersey, man will make his initial appearance today on charges related to his explosive devices and the materials used to manufacture them, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Thomas Petronglo, 63, of Vineland, New Jersey, is charged by indictment with one count each of unlawful possession of a destructive device, unlawful making of a destructive device, and unlawful storage of explosive materials. He is scheduled to appear by videoconference later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen.
According to documents filed in this case:
On March 12, 2021, Petronglo was found in possession of one destructive device, a 5 ¾-inch diameter metal can, containing a quantity of an explosive mixture of potassium perchlorate and aluminum, with a fuse sticking out of the device.
Petronglo also possessed multiple intact improvised explosive devices and explosive materials, including:
• One suspected improvised explosive device containing a plastic cylinder, suspected explosive mixture inside the plastic cylinder, with cardboard tubing and a fuse sticking out of the device; • One suspected improvised explosive device containing a plastic cylinder, M class device inside the plastic cylinder, with suspected explosive mixture wrapped in black electrical tape with a fuse sticking out of the device; • One suspected improvised explosive device, containing a black plastic cylinder wrapped in black electrical tape, inside the cylinder is a suspected explosive mixture, with a fuse sticking out of the device; • One suspected improvised explosive device, containing cardboard tubing with twine wrapped around the cardboard tubing and the wrapped in black electrical tape, with a suspected explosive mixture inside the cardboard tubing and a fuse sticking out of the device; • Two M class devices – one 3-inch M class device and one 2-inch M class, both suspected devices in red cardboard tubes with wooden plug at the end of the devices, inside the cardboard tubing is a suspected explosive mixture with a fuse sticking out of the device; • Numerous materials used to manufacture destructive devices, including precursor chemicals, hobby fuse, time fuse, the explosive making materials such as the cardboard tubing, and black plastic cylinders.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey L. Matthews in Newark; the Vineland Police Department, under the direction of Chief Pedro Casiano; the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae, and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Patrick J. Callahan, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The counts of possession of a destructive device and making of an explosive device each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count of unlawful storage of explosives carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean C. Sovolos of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department are investigating a Thursday morning homicide in Trenton, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.
Shortly before 6 a.m. on October 7, 2021, Trenton police received two Shot Spotter activations in the first block of Hoffman Avenue, both for multiple rounds. Upon arrival, officers located a male victim laying on the ground between 165 and 167 Hoffman Avenue suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead a short time later. The victim has been identified as Douglas Munn, 50, of Trenton.
No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Luis Vega of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406. Information can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Names of 2021* homicide victims:
2/18/2021 Jabree Saunders, 26, from shooting on May 14, 2018
FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–It’s a simple notion that speaks directly to the twin tenets of equality and justice that no one, anywhere, should ever have to fear being exactly who they are.
It’s also the driving force behind Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey yesterday announcing the launch of the MCPO LGBTQ+ Law Enforcement Liaison Program and the SAFE PLACE Program, two new initiatives intended to foster improved relations between the LGBTQ+ community and law enforcement in Monmouth County, as well as provide individuals belonging to federally protected classes safe places from which to report bias incidents and/or hate crimes.
“Like New Jersey at large, Monmouth County is a vibrant, diverse place where individuals hailing from countless different backgrounds come to live, work, and visit,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “Every single one of them deserves to feel safe and welcomed here, and we plan to do everything in our power to ensure that they always do.”
Gathering for yesterday’s announcement were local elected officials and police chiefs, numerous LGBTQ+ Law Enforcement Liaisons from across the state, as well as members of MCPO executive leadership and Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew Bruck – the first member of the LGBTQ+ community to serve as the Garden State’s chief law enforcement officer.
“Initiatives like these empower members of the LGBTQ+ community by letting them know they have allies everywhere,” Bruck said. “I applaud Acting Prosecutor Linskey for her leadership in bringing these meaningful programs to Monmouth County.” Through the MCPO LGBTQ+ Law Enforcement Liaison Program, the Prosecutor’s Office is hopeful that many of the more than 50 law-enforcement agencies across the county will designate a department Liaison; the designee may be any sworn or civilian employee who identifies as LGBTQ+ (or as an ally) and wishes to serve as a connection point between law enforcement and the local LGBTQ+ community. The Liaisons will then collaborate with those communities to address issues of concern, and to support MCPO’s service to the public.
A Liaison’s responsibilities will also include, among other things:
With supervisory approval, attend events in the LGBTQ+ community as a representative of the MCPO;
Meet with and provide a forum for business owners, community groups, schools, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, and present information on relevant law enforcement/community issues;
Become fully familiar with the Attorney General’s Bias Incident Investigation Standards and the definitions of bias incidents and related criminal violations pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1(a)(1) or (2);
Assist, advise, and consult with MCPO Assistant Prosecutors and Detectives on cases involving the LGBTQ+ community or LGBTQ+ issues;
Provide support, upon request, to LGBTQ+ staff members;
Provide diversity trainings, with supervisory approval, at the Monmouth County Police Academy or in other forums, upon request; and
Provide an annual report to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office on activities of the Liaison position and public safety trends related to the LGBTQ+ community.
The Liaisons will also participate in the local implementation of MCPO SAFE PLACE, a public-private partnership centered on the reporting of bias incidents and hate crimes targeting any protected class of individuals – whether motivated by race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or ethnicity.Through the Program, local participating businesses, social organizations, and schools will be given brightly colored decals for posting prominently in an entrance area, allowing anyone who spots them to know that the location will provide a safe environment for someone to call 911 for assistance if they believe they have been the target of a bias incident or hate crime.
New Jersey’s Bias Intimidation statute is applied whenever an underlying crime is determined to have been committed with a “purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals” because one or more of them are members of any of the aforementioned protected classes. The degree of the Bias Intimidation charge is one degree higher than the degree of the most serious underlying charge.
Every local business, social organization, or school in Monmouth County is eligible to participate in the Program free of charge. The only requirement is twofold: if a victim of any crime (especially a hate crime) enters the premises, call 911 immediately; and allow the victim to remain on the premises until police arrive.
The SAFE PLACE program was first introduced by the Seattle Police Department in 2015, with more than 7,000 locations across the city participating by 2019. Today they sanction police departments nationwide in replicating the program in their jurisdictions; MCPO is the 293rd such agency in the U.S., Canada, or Europe to launch its own version.
“Too often, initiatives of this nature involve a wealth of talk and a dearth of action – that’s why we’re so enthusiastic about the fact that this announcement was just the first step toward something much bigger,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “Through these two programs, members of our Office and local police departments will be reaching out and making connections in their local communities. They’ll be listening to their constituents, having meaningful conversations, and effecting actual positive change. Making things like this possible is precisely why I took this job.”
The SAFE PLACE program will be piloted with the cooperation of the municipal leadership and police departments of Asbury Park, Long Branch, and Red Bank, yet participation ultimately will be open to all locations countywide.
Most of the Prosecutor’s Office eight inaugural volunteer Law Enforcement Liaisons – a group that includes investigators and assistant prosecutors alike – attended Wednesday’s event, which included the raising of a Pride flag at the Office’s main entrance. It will remain in place through Monday, October 11 – National Coming Out Day 2021.
If your business, social organization, or school is interested in participating in MCPO SAFE PLACE, contact the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at SafePlace@mcponj.org or your local police department.
The officer conducted a motor vehicle stop after observing a vehicle speeding on Route 133. During the motor vehicle stop the individual exhibited signs of impairment and was placed under arrest after failing field sobriety tests. The individual was later released pending court action.
Defendant: Christine Lee-Garcia
Toa Alta, PR
28 Years of Age
Reckless Driving Careless Driving
Open Container of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle Failure to Maintain Lane
The officer responded to Walmart for a reported shoplifting. The individuals left the area prior to police arrival. Investigation revealed that the two individuals left the store without paying for merchandise valued at $72.53. The officer located the vehicle and one of the individuals at a nearby residence. Both individuals were identified and charged.
Defendants: Rosia Hill
East Windsor, NJ 35 Years of Age
David Gorman East Windsor, NJ 37 Years of Age
Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Michael Pidhorecki
Location: Route130 North/Town Center Road Time/Date: 11:40 PM, 10/2/2021
The officer conducted a motor vehicle stop on Route 130 north near Town Center Road after observing the vehicle traveling slowly in the left lane and impeding the flow of traffic. During the motor vehicle stop the individual exhibited signs of impairment and was placed under arrest after failing field sobriety tests. The individual was later released pending court action.
The officer conducted a motor vehicle stop after observing a vehicle speeding on Route 133. During the motor vehicle stop the individual provided a false name to the officer. Once the individual’s true identity was established the officer discovered an active warrant for his arrest. The individual was arrested and later turned over to the custody of the Monmouth county Sheriffs Department for the active warrant. .
Lester Brown Trenton, NJ
51 Years of Age
Obstructing Hindering Unlicensed Driver
Driving While Suspended
Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Michael Whalen
2. DUI/Assault by Auto
Location: Route 130/Town Center Road Time/Date: 6:22 PM, 9/25/2021
The officer responded to Route 130 south near Town Center Road for a reported motor vehicle collision involving four vehicles. Investigation revealed that the driver of vehicle #I rear-ended vehicle #2 as vehicle #2 was stopped in traffic. Vehicle #1 careened off of vehicle #2 and struck vehicle #3, which in-turn caused vehicle #3 to jolt forward and strike vehicle #4. Four occupants in vehicle #3 complained of pain but refused medical treatment. The driver of vehicle #1 displayed signs of impairment and was placed under arrest after failing field sobriety tests. The individual was arrested and later released pending court action.
The officer responded to the Target parking lot for a female reportedly slumped over behind the wheel. The driver exhibited signs of impairment and was placed under arrest after failing field sobriety tests. The officer subsequently conducted a vehicle search and located a powdery substance and prescription narcotics in the vehicle. The individual was later released pending court action.
Defendant: Candelari Noriega East Windsor, NJ 40 Years of Age
Reckless Driving Careless Driving
Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle
Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (X2) Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Under the Influence of CDS
Arresting Officer: Patrol Officer Christopher McDermott
All accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a Court of law.