Month: November 2021

Armed Robbery, Car-Jacking in Toms River

November 27, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Friday, November 26, 2021 at approximately 4:10 PM multiple police units were dispatched to the area of Route 37 and Route 166 for a robbery in progress involving a handgun. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the victim who stated that his vehicle was stolen at gunpoint from the parking lot of 10 Route 37 East. He further stated that he knew the suspects involved and had agreed to give one of them a ride to Auto Zone after their vehicle had broke down.

Once at Auto Zone, the victim’s acquaintance exited the vehicle and walked toward the store. The passenger door opened moments later and another male entered the vehicle and brandished a handgun demanding the victim’s belongings. The victim fled the vehicle and ran to a neighboring lot where notified police.

The suspect exited the parking lot in the victim’s vehicle, and continued westbound on Route 37 toward Manchester. Manchester Township Police were immediately notified and quickly located the vehicle traveling west on Route 37 near Lakehurst. Manchester officers stopped the vehicle in the parking lot of 401 Route 70, Lakehurst. The driver, Devin Copley-Clevenger, 20 of Lumberton, was taken into custody without incident.

A search of the vehicle was then conducted which yielded a loaded 9mm handgun with a high capacity magazine. The Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Unit responded to process the vehicle.

Mr. Copley-Clevenger was charged with first degree robbery, first degree car jacking, second degree unlawful possession of a weapon, second degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and fourth degree unlawful possession of a high capacity magazine. All charges were approved by The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

The incident remains under investigation by Detective Seaman. If you have information regarding this incident, please contact

Criminal charges are accusations only. Every criminal defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

Pedestrian Struck in Toms River

November 27, 2021

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–On Friday, November 26, 2021 at approximately 6:00 PM police units were dispatched to Hooper Ave, near the intersection of James Street for a reported pedestrian struck. While attempting to cross Hooper Avenue, Ebony Shepherd, 34 of Johnstown PA, climbed over the Jersey Barrier from east to west and was struck by an oncoming vehicle. Ms. Sheperd was transported to Community Medical Center and subsequently airlifted to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick due to the severity of her injuries.

The driver of the vehicle exhibited no signs of impairment and was not injured as a result of the crash. Ocean County Sheriff Department’s CSI Unit also assisted at the scene. The accident remains under investigation by Traffic Safety Officer Mark Nater and Patrolman Will Resetar.

AG’s Office Investigating Fatal Collision Involving Civilian and Police Vehicles

November 26, 2021

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The Attorney General’s Office is conducting an investigation of a fatal vehicle collision that occurred on November 25, 2021 in North Brunswick, N.J. Two children sustained fatal injuries. The decedents’ identities are not being released at this time.  

According to the preliminary investigation, the fatal incident occurred on November 25, 2021 at 11:35 p.m. at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 130 in North Brunswick, N.J. Two vehicles were involved in a collision. The first vehicle was operated by a civilian driving on the wrong side of the highway, and also contained two children. The second vehicle was a marked Old Bridge Police Department vehicle driven by an Old Bridge police officer, and which contained a second Old Bridge police officer and a civilian. Both children in the civilian vehicle died from injuries sustained in the crash. Both officers and the civilian within the police vehicle sustained injuries.

This investigation is being conducted pursuant to Attorney General Directive 2019-4, which implements the statutory requirement that the Attorney General’s Office conduct the investigation of any death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody, and which establishes clear standards and procedures for conducting such investigations. Per Section II.H.3 of the Directive, the investigation will be bifurcated, with the AG’s Office investigating the conduct of the officers involved in the collision, and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office investigating the conduct of any other parties that may be responsible. 

The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.

Vehicle Overturns on Route 130 in Hamilton

November 25, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–At 9:25 p.m. Hamilton Police recieved multiple calls reporting an overturned vehicle on Route 130 near Horizon Center and Sprit of 76 Boulevard. Hamilton Township Fire Department and RWJ Hamilton EMS responded to the scene for reported entrapment. Upon arrival there was no entrapment. Hamilton Fire Department stood by until 10:22 p.m. until the vehicle could be up righted and towed away. Hamilton Township Police is investigating the crash. No further information was available.

Fully Involved Vehicle Fire On I-295 in Lawrence Township

November 25, 2021

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A vehicle fire disrupted traffic on Interstate 295 in Lawrence Township Wednesday evening, Nov. 24. Pennington Borough Fire Chief Jim DeForte was driving through the area when he spotted the fire on the northbound side of I-295 near Milepost 69.6, just north of the Exit 69 (Lawrence Road/Route 206) interchange, about 7 p.m. DeForte radioed for Lawrence Township firefighters to be dispatched. The vehicle was fully-engulfed in fire, so Pennington Fire Company’s 3,500-gallon tanker was also dispatched in case additional water was needed above the 500 gallons carried aboard Lawrenceville Fire Company’s first-due apparatus, Telesquirt 23. Northbound traffic was reduced to one lane while firefighters extinguished the blaze. Slackwood Fire Company also responded to assist. There was no reported injuries.

Trenton Police Officers Begin Executing New De-Escalation Training Out in the Field 

November 24, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Police Director Steve E. Wilson today announced that Trenton Police officers have successfully begun integrating new state training into their de-escalation efforts to help take suspects into custody without anyone being harmed. 

On Nov. 10, 2021, officers responded to reports of a suspect smashing car windows with a gun. Upon arrival, officers observed Dashawn Bashir Smith-Murphy, 27, of Trenton, standing next to a black shotgun. Officers used their new de-escalation training to disarm and take Smith-Murphy into custody without anyone being harmed.

On Oct. 16, 2021, officers were dispatched to 590 New York Avenue after receiving reports of a man with a firearm holding a woman captive. Officers surrounded the apartment and conducted negotiations, which resulted in Eric Hardmon, 37, of Bronx, NY, opening the door and being taken into custody without incident. Officers entered the apartment and located a female inside the bathroom unharmed. 

“The TPD is committed to using every resource available to peacefully resolve criminal disturbances, and it wasn’t long before our officers started taking advantage of the training they just started over a month ago,” said Acting Director Wilson. “These are the types of situations where this training is incredibly useful and can help achieve the best possible outcome for both our officers and the residents they are sworn to protect.”

The TPD started de-escalation and active bystandership training programs at Mercer County Community College this Fall. One of the training programs is Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT). ICAT is a training guide for diffusing critical incidents. It provides responding police officers with the tools, skills, and options they need to safely defuse a range of critical incidents. ICAT instructs officers on critical thinking, crisis intervention, communications, and tactics. 

The second training program is the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE). This program seeks to create a law enforcement culture that supports peer intervention. ABLE training promotes the idea that it is the responsibility of every officer to act to prevent mistakes, address misconduct, and promote their fellow officers’ health and well-being.

Criminal Sexual Contact on Moore Street in Princeton

November 24, 2021

PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)–Princeton Police report that on Tuesday November 23, 2021 at 6:14 p,m,, the Princeton Police Department was dispatched to the area of Moore Street and Park Place for a report of a criminal sexual contact. The victim stated she was walking south on Moore Street and crossed Park Place. While she was on the sidewalk on the southwest corner of the intersection of Moore Street and Park Place, the suspect approached her from behind and grabbed her buttocks. The suspect then ran west on Park Place.

The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic male, possible in his 30’s, 5’04” tall with a medium to slightly heavy build, wearing a dark colored beanie style winter hat, a white surgical mask and a navy blue jacket.

It is unknown if this incident is related to the prior criminal sexual contacts that occurred in the past. At this time, there is no additional information available. When more information is available, we will put out an additional press release.

We are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has additional information, to contact Det. Don Mathews at (609) 921-2100 extension 2137.

Search and Rescue Underway in Stafford Township, 100+ Searching Woods Off Rt 539 for Two Missing Persons

There is currently a search and rescue being conducted in the wooded area of 539/Warren Grove Rd in Barnegat & Stafford Township. HUNTERS please be extremely vigilant of 100+ searchers walking through the area.

November 24, 2021

STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–On Tuesday, November 23,2021, the Stafford Township Police Department initiated an investigation into two missing persons from Warren Grove identified as Gary & Lorraine Parker. The department’s ATV Unit with the assistance of the Ocean County Sheriffs Department ATV Unit have been conducting off-road searches of the Warren Grove area. The NJSP Aviation Unit assisted as well. At this time, we are not seeking assistance in this search. However, if anyone has any information on the whereabouts of Gary & Lorraine Parker, please contact us at (609) 597-8581 or Detective Sergeant Neil McKenna at (609) 597-1189 X8440.

Early Morning 2-Alarm Fire Burns Apartments in Ewing Township

November 24, 2021

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Ewing Township firefighters were dispatched for apartments on fire in the area of 451 of Silvia Street at 1:17 a.m. First arriving firefighters found heavy fire showing exterior decks Side A (front), second and third floors at 485 Silvia Street. A second alarm called on arrival of Chief 33 sending mutual aid to the scene from Lawrence, Hamilton, Pennington and Hopewell.

No further details are available at this time. This is a breaking news story and once details are released the story will be updated.

Nearly 600 Firearms Collected as Result of Twin Gun Buybacks

November 23, 2021

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A combined total of nearly 600 firearms have been collected for destruction as the result of a pair of gun buybacks hosted by the Prosecutor’s Office and partner agencies over the last month, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Tuesday.

Monmouth County was one of nine counties statewide to host separate gun buybacks across the state on Saturday, October 23; as a result, a total of 360 firearms were collected at the Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park, including 159 handguns, 133 rifles and shotguns, and three assault weapons.

Prompted by the healthy demand, a second event was held this past Saturday at the Bethel AME Church in Freehold; as a result, a total of 234 more firearms, including 144 handguns, 67 rifles and shotguns, and two assault weapons were collected.

Between the two events, more than $66,000 was paid out to participating citizens turning in 594 unwanted weapons.

“It’s abundantly clear that these gun buyback events are both popular and effective, and we plan to continue hosting them in the years to come,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “Every last firearm turned in is a firearm that will never be used to harm someone.”

Saturday’s event was co-sponsored by the Prosecutor’s Office, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, under the leadership of Sheriff Shaun Golden; the Freehold Borough Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Craig W. Dispenza; the Freehold Township Police Department, under the leadership of Chief George K. Baumann; and the Bethel AME Church, under the leadership of the Rev. Ronald L. Sparks.

The Asbury Park event was co-sponsored by MCPO, the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, the Monmouth County Police Chiefs Association, and the Asbury Park Police Department.

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General coordinated the Oct. 23 gun buybacks, which made history – Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck announced several days later that nearly 3,000 firearms were turned at sites across the state that day, making it the most successful single-day event of its kind in state history. Thousands more firearms were turned in during gun buybacks held across the state in previous years.

The gun buybacks in Asbury Park and Freehold marked Monmouth County’s first such events since 2017.

Trenton Man Arrested in Armed Home Invasion, Kidnapping, Robbery in Hamilton

November 23, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On November 22, 2021, Hamilton Police Officers were detailed to a residence in the 300 block of Tindall Avenue on a home invasion/ robbery. Responding officers were advised by the elderly female victim, that she was awakened by a black male suspect that entered her residence with a handgun. The elderly victim explained that the suspect pushed in a first-floor window air conditioning unit to gain entry to her residence.  Once inside, he held her at gun point and took several items of value and left with her personal vehicle.

Hamilton Police Detective Frank Palmieri was assigned the case, and an alert was entered for the victims’ stolen motor vehicle.   

On the evening of November 22, 2021, the suspect, 19-year-old Trenton resident, Kahider Carmichael, was arrested by the New Jersey State Police Crime Suppression Central Unit, while driving the victims’ vehicle in Trenton. 

Kahider Carmichael was transported to Hamilton Police headquarters where he was charged with Robbery, Burglary and Kidnapping. 

Kahider Carmichael is currently being held at the Mercer County Correctional Facility awaiting arraignment.

Hamilton Police Detectives are asking the public if anyone has additional information concerning this incident, to contact Hamilton Police Detective Frank Palmieri of the Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 581-4041 or via email at or the Hamilton Police Crime Tip Hotline at (609) 581-4008.

Every defendant is presumed innocent until being found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Commemorates 50 Years Serving the Community

November 23, 2021

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Hamilton, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, held a procession ceremony on Friday, November 19, 2021 to mark the hospital’s 50-year milestone of providing high quality healthcare to the Mercer County community.

In 1971, Trenton General Hospital moved to a 67-acre campus in Hamilton Township and was renamed Hamilton Hospital. A half-century later, the hospital, now Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, exemplifies the best in patient care, quality and safety. Today, the hospital is nationally recognized for its exceptional medical care, patient satisfaction, and continued commitment to promote, preserve, and restore the health of the community it serves. 

The procession ceremony recreated the first time the ambulances pulled into Hamilton Hospital five decades ago and will feature EMS a well as firetrucks, police vehicles, and ambulances who will drive through the hospital grounds, mirroring that historic day.

Following the procession, remarks were made by:

  • Mercer County Commissioner Nina D. Melker, Chairman of RWJUH Hamilton Foundation and Vice Chairman of the RWJUH Hamilton Board of Trustees
  • Richard Freeman, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJUH Hamilton
  • Hamilton Township Mayor Jeffrey S. Martin

One Pronounced Dead in Ewing Shooting

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

Former Bordentown Man Pleads Guilty In $400K GoFundMe Scheme

November 22, 2021

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

Freedom Skate Park Partners with Vans to Give Away Skateboards and Shoes to At-Risk Youth in the Trenton Area

November 22, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora joined representatives from Freedom Skate ParkSuper Skate PosseDogwood Skate ShopVansSanta Cruz Skateboards, and Shred Co. on Saturday, November 20th to provide free skateboards, Vans shoes, Pro Tec helmets, and lessons to a group of 25 underserved youth from the Trenton area enrolled in Sprout U School of the Arts

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