EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Ewing Police Department are investigating a shooting homicide that occurred in the township Monday afternoon.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Monday, November 22, 2021, Ewing police were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of Douglas Avenue for a person shot. Upon arrival, officers located the victim 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 Mark Hudson, Jr., 21, of Ewing. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jennifer Eyster with the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406. Tips can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Burlington County, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in a GoFundMe scheme that collected money from donors on the internet, purportedly to benefit a homeless man, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Mark D’Amico, 42, formerly of Bordentown, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman to Count One of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
On March 6, 2019, two conspirators – Katelyn McClure and Johnny Bobbitt Jr. – pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, respectively, in connection with the same scheme. They are both awaiting sentencing.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In November 2017, D’Amico and McClure created a crowd-source funding page on GoFundMe’s website, titled: “Paying It Forward.” The campaign solicited donations from the public, purportedly for the benefit of homeless veteran Bobbitt. D’Amico and McClure posted a story that McClure was driving home from Philadelphia on Interstate 95 and ran out of gas. Bobbitt acted as a good Samaritan and rescued McClure by using his last $20 to buy gasoline for her. The website stated that funds were being solicited, with a goal of $10,000, to get Bobbitt off the streets and provide living expenses for him.
The story told by D’Amico and McClure was not true. McClure never ran out of gas and Bobbitt never spent his last $20 for her. D’Amico and McClure conspired to create the false story to obtain money from donors based on false information. The false story was quickly picked up by local and national news outlets. The fraudulent campaign raised approximately $400,000 from more than 14,000 donors throughout the country in less than one month.
The donated funds were transferred by D’Amico and McClure from GoFundMe into accounts that they controlled. The majority of the money was quickly spent by D’Amico and McClure on personal expenses over the next three months, including significant amounts by D’Amico for gambling, as well as for vacations, a BMW automobile, clothing, handbags and other personal items and expenses.
In mid-November 2017, when the donations had reached approximately $1,700, D’Amico and McClure told Bobbitt about the campaign and the false story. In December 2017, after D’Amico helped open a bank account for Bobbitt, D’Amico and McClure deposited $25,000 of proceeds of the scheme into Bobbitt’s account. The charge of wire fraud conspiracy carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for March 28, 2022.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. She also thanked the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Scott Coffina; and officers of the Florence Township Police Department for their work on the case.
The government is represented by Senior Trial Counsel Jason M. Richardson and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey B. Bender and Diana Vondra Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Mark G. Davis Esq., Hamilton, New Jersey
The event was part of Freedom Skate Park’s Trenton Winter Skateboarding Program, a series of free, weekly skateboarding events at a pop-up indoor skate park in the historic Roebling Wire Works building. Freedom is the only skate park in Trenton and the largest indoor skate park in New Jersey.
“The Freedom team uses skateboarding to teach youth in our city important life lessons about thinking creatively, setting goals, and following through on those goals while also giving them the chance to do something fun. This puts them on the path towards success while continuing to build a healthy, safe Capital City community,” said Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora. “Today’s event provided that opportunity for these kids, and giving each of them a board, shoes, and a helmet to take home means they’ll be able to keep practicing and share our lessons with their friends.”
“The process of seeing an obstacle, thinking of a trick to do on that obstacle, and then perfecting the physical skill needed to perform the trick doesn’t just keep young people active, it also teaches them to think outside the box, set goals for themselves, and cheer on their friends in a positive, supportive environment” said Jake McNichol, Founder and Executive Director of Freedom. “Giving kids in Trenton who otherwise might not be able to skate the chance to not only enjoy the park but also take home their own board and shoes to keep practicing and share skating with their friends is critical to Freedom’s mission to use skating as a tool to build a stronger, healthier Trenton community.”
“Sprout U School of the Arts is dedicated to giving kids in Trenton creative opportunities they might not have otherwise,” said Sprout U Headmaster Danielle Miller-Windrow. “We started bringing some of our kids to skate at Freedom during last year’s Trenton Winter Skateboarding Program, and we immediately saw the benefits. Not only did skating give them a new and fun way to stay physically active, but it also helps them think outside the box and support one another as they achieve their goals. I am thrilled that a new group of kids will be getting the equipment and lessons they need to start skating and keep practicing at home.”
“As the authentic, original skateboarding shoe, Vans has been part of skateboarding’s growth since the beginning,” said Zach Sheats, Skate Marketing Manager – Americas at Vans. “We are proud to give young people in Trenton who might not have access to skateboard equipment the high quality shoes, skateboards, and helmets they need to have a great time skating with their friends.”
“Skateboarding is unlike anything else in the world. It is a unique, creative outlet that allows people to express themselves as individuals while being part of a diverse, supportive community. Giving kids access to the equipment needed to participate and enjoy the mental health benefits of skateboarding, allows them the tools to overcome the challenges they face and, just as important, have a lot of fun and be part of a caring and inclusive community,” said Super Skate Posse Co-Founder Chris Nieratko. “Freedom is an awesome organization that has been doing this work in Trenton for years, and Super Skate Posse is excited to work with them and Sprout U to give more kids the chance to skate.”
Currently, there are no skate parks in Trenton and hardly any indoor skate parks in the entire state of New Jersey. This means there are no safe, legal places for youth and young adults in Trenton to learn the important lessons skating teaches and there is nowhere for skateboarders in New Jersey to practice their skills when it is too rainy, cold, or dark to skate outside.
Freedom’s Trenton Winter Skateboarding Program addresses both of these problems by providing a public, indoor skate park in the historic Roebling Wire Works building. In addition to weekly “Open Skate” events, Freedom partners with local nonprofits serving at-risk youth to run board giveaways.
Saturday’s event brought a group of 25 youth enrolled in Trenton school Sprout U School of the Arts to Freedom for a skateboarding demonstration featuring Santa Cruz Skateboards professional skateboarder Tom Asta and team riders from local skateboard shop Dogwood Skate Shop, as well as lessons provided by Shred Co.
Thanks to generous donations from Vans, Santa Cruz Skateboards, and Pro-Tech Helmets, every child who participated in the event took home their very own skateboard as well as a brand new pair of Vans skate shoes and a Pro Tec helmet. Providing shoes specifically made for skating is important because they better protect youths’ feet and are made of more durable materials designed to withstand the specific kind of wear and tear that results from skating.
Freedom organized the event in coordination with Super Skate Posse, a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to skateboarding, and Dogwood Skate Shop, a local skateboard shop based in Bucks County, Pennsylvania that has supported the growth of Trenton’s skateboard scene and played an integral part in getting a number of public skate parks in the area built.
About Freedom: Freedom is an all-volunteer 501c(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to giving more people the opportunity to learn the valuable life lessons skateboarding teaches by providing safe indoor spaces for skaters of all ages and skill levels to practice and connect with other members of the skate community. Freedom’s Trenton Winter Skateboarding Program provides the only skate park in Trenton and the only public, indoor skate park in the state of New Jersey. More information and a full event schedule is available at www.freedomnj.org/winter_skate.
LONG BRANCH, NJ (MONMOUTH)–More than 300 motorcycle riders from the Blue Knights NJ XV and Jersey Shore HOGs traveled to Monmouth Medical Center on November 21 to bring hundreds of toys to brighten the holiday season for Unterberg Children’s Hospital patients. The Sunday morning ride began at the Shore Casino in Atlantic Highlands. When the motorcyclists arrived at the hospital, they gathered in the parking lot and unloaded a trailer full of toys that wee been collected over the last months at locations that include Simply Southern restaurant in Belmar, Sissy’s at the Harbor restaurant in Atlantic Highlands, Shoreline Harley-Davidson, West Long Branch, and Creative Performance motorcycle repair shop in Wall. Additionally, the Freehold Regional High School Football and Cheer Club worked with the two groups on a toy drive that included electronic cars, and members of the club were on hand for the event. “It’s always tough to be sick in the hospital when you’re a child, and COVID-19 has made the last two years so difficult for children and their families,” said Jonathan Teitelbaum, Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Acting Chair of Pediatrics at The Unterberg Children’s Hospital. “This type of event means the word to them – they get extra toys, and they know that the community really cares about them and wants them to get better.” Each rider’s $10 donation benefits The Comprehensive Cystic Fibrosis Center at The Unterberg Children’s Hospital, the oldest and largest of the centers in New Jersey, offering patient care, teaching and research. Members of the Long Branch Fire and Police Departments and Oceanport Police, as well as the Freehold Regional High School Football and Cheer Club, also contributed to the cash donation. The Cystic Fibrosis Center — which includes both pediatric and adult programs — is accredited by the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and is designated by the State of New Jersey as a referral center for Cystic Fibrosis Newborn Screening and has been designated as a Therapeutic Development Center by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Therapeutic Development Network.
Nation’s Finest K9 Officers Show How Dogs Keep AmericaSafe
Only 20 dog teams from across the country competed, and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office was honored to be represented by MCPO Lieutenant Joe Angarone and his K9 partner, Bela.
The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for all dogs, is excited to announce that the first-ever AKC/USPCA K9 Detection Dog Challenge will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday, November 28th at 10pm ET. The event, hosted by the AKC and the United States Police Canine Association, brings the best of the best in narcotics and explosives detection dogs from around the nation together to demonstrate the important role dogs play in law enforcement and keeping our country safe.
“We are thrilled to host this exciting event with the USPCA,” said AKC Executive Secretary Gina DiNardo. “It’s amazing to see these dogs in action and show viewers their training and precision. We can’t wait to share it with the ESPN2 audience.”
The event was held on November 15th at the PNC Arena, where ten narcotics dog teams and ten explosives detection dog teams competed against each other to see which could find their respective substance – illegal narcotics and explosive substances – the quickest. The teams navigated obstacles and sorted through distractions to find the hidden items. They were scored on the accuracy of their search, perfection of their alert (telling the handler where the hide is), and the find itself (a combination of the ability of the dog and the handler to accurately tell judges where the hide is located).
Tune into the AKC/USPCA K9 Detection Dog Challenge on Sunday, November 28th at 10pm ET. Check your local provider for ESPN2 channel information. To learn more about AKC events, visit www.akc.org. To learn more about the USPCA, visit https://www.uspcak9.com/.
LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–The New Jersey State Police is seeking the public’s assistance with a fatal motor vehicle crash investigation that occurred on the Garden State Parkway on November 20. At approximately 10:17 p.m., Holmdel Station troopers responded to a single vehicle crash on the Garden State Parkway southbound entrance ramp 89A from State Highway 70 in Lakewood Township, Ocean County. Based on the preliminary investigation, the driver of a silver Volkswagen Passat lost control of his vehicle and overturned near the ramp. As a result of the crash, a 9-year-old male passenger was ejected and sustained fatal injuries. The driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash or the events leading up to or immediately following the crash is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Miguel Guarda or Detective Robert Reese of the Troop “D” Holmdel Station Criminal Investigation Office at 732-441-4500 ext. 7417 or 7425. Anonymous tips are welcome.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police report that there was a shooting in the area of 55 Garfield Avenue this morning only a few blocks from another shooting incident in Hamilton on Saturday night involving juveniles. There were three juveniles in a vehicle, one of the juveniles was grazed by a bullet. It was unclear where he was grazed. No other information is available at this time as the investigation is ongoing.
This is the second incident this week involving juveniles in Mercer County, the first incident was at Greenwood Avenue and Connecticut Avenue in Hamilton Township a few blocks from the Trenton border where a juvenile (reported as 12-year-old) was shot in the leg and head, transported to the hospital and was expected to survive. Hamilton Police are still investigating that incident.
You can read that MidJersey.News story here:
Hamilton Police investigate a shooting involving juveniles in Hamilton Township on November 20, 2021
Hamilton NJ: On November 20, 2021 at approximately 6:34 PM, Hamilton Police were dispatched to the area of the Greenwood Avenue and Connecticut Avenue on a report of shots fired with one person struck in the leg. Upon arrival Officers located a juvenile victim bleeding from his upper left leg. A bystander was applying pressure to the area and Officers applied a tourniquet to control the bleeding. Firefighters from Engine 14 arrived on scene and assisted with treating the victim. Officers spoke to the juvenile victims who stated they were hanging out on the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Connecticut Avenue when they were approached by males in a silver/gray Honda. The rear right passenger rolled down the window and began yelling at the juveniles. The juveniles started to run away when the suspect brandished a handgun and starting firing at them. The vehicle then fled the scene down Connecticut Avenue towards Hamilton Avenue. Officers located eighteen shell casings at the scene. The victim sustained a gunshot wound to his left leg and head. He was transported to Bristol-Myers Squibb Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University in New Brunswick for further treatment and is in stable condition.
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Frank Palmieri of the Hamilton Police Division’s Criminal Investigations Section at 609-581-4041 or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at 609-581-4008.