Month: August 2022

Female Shot In Stomach In Trenton

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 2:22 p.m. August 15, 2022 Trenton Police, Trenton Fire Department, TEMS and Captial Paramedics were detailed to the 200 Block of Grand Street for a female shot in the stomach. The female was quickly transported to the Trauma Center at Captial Health Regional Medical Center.

The Public Information Officer for the City of Trenton, Timothy J. Carroll confirmed the shooting and that several police units including the Shooting Response Team were on scene investigating.


Fatal Marlboro Township Collision Under Investigation

MARLBORO, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A three-vehicle collision that took place on a rural road in Marlboro Township over the weekend has left a Middlesex County motorcyclist dead and his passenger hospitalized with serious injuries, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey announced Monday.

Shortly before 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, members of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Marlboro Township Police Department responded to the area of Tennent Road and Peregrine Drive. At that location, first responders located the three vehicles involved in the collision: a Ford Explorer driven by a 46-year-old female from Long Branch, a GMC Acadia driven by a 52-year-old male resident of Hillsborough, and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle driven by a 40-year-old male resident of Piscataway.

The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, and his passenger, a 32-year-old female resident of Piscataway, was transported via medical helicopter to Jersey Shore Regional Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries not believed to be life-threatening. The drivers of the other two vehicles remained on the scene and were not seriously injured.

The circumstances behind this matter remain under active investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed the collision or has any information about it is urged to contact MCPO Detective Nicolas Logothetis at 800-533-7443 or Marlboro Township Police Department Corporal David Ruditsky at 732-536-0100.


Suspect In Custody Involving Stolen Vehicle From Bristol, PA And Stolen Lawn Equipment From Princeton and Lawrence Townships

Suspect Was Tracked By GPS

August 15, 2022

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Lawrence Township Police say that on Monday August 15, 2022 at approximately 8:41 a.m., the Lawrence Township Police Department received a call from Bucks County Pennsylvania relating that a vehicle was stolen from Bristol, PA over the weekend and that the GPS tracking device had it located at the WAWA store on Brunswick Pike in Lawrence Township.  Officers then checked the area but no vehicle was located. 

At 10:00 a.m. on Monday August 15, 2022, the Lawrence Township Police Department was again contacted by the Princeton Police Department who stated that the aforementioned stolen vehicle was in their jurisdiction but was traveling North Bound on Princeton Pike headed to Lawrence Township.  The owner of the stolen vehicle related that he tracked the vehicle to the parking lot of 2997 Princeton Pike, in Lawrence.  On arrival of Lawrence Police officers, a male party later identified as Douglas McIntyre, 38, of Butterfly Lane, Levittown, PA ran from the vehicle.  After a brief foot pursuit, McIntyre was taken into custody.  A subsequent search of the stolen vehicle located a backpack blower that was stolen out of Princeton, NJ and several gas cans that were stolen out of Lawrence Township.  McIntyre was subsequently charged with two counts of receiving stolen property, one count of theft and one count of obstruction. 


 

Trenton, NJ Man Charged With Criminal Homicide And Other Related Charges In January 2020 Killing In Bristol, PA

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)/BRISTOL, PA—According to a Police Criminal Complaint and Affidavit of Probable Cause, filed on August 11, 2022, Robert Shannon Christie of the 400 Block of Centre Street, Trenton, NJ has been charged with several charges related to a January 19, 2020 homicide of Joshua Mcrae of Trenton, NJ in Bristol, PA. The affiants are Trooper Michael Gesualdo, Sergeant Brandon Corby of the Pennsylvania State Police and Detective David Hanks of the Bucks County Detective Bureau, Office of the District Attorney.  

According to the affidavit on January 19, 2020, at 1:39 a.m., the Bucks County 9-1-1 Center received the first call about a body lying on the side of I-295 near the Pennsylvania Turnpike on-ramp in Bristol Township, Bucks County, PA. The call was then transferred to the Pennsylvania State Police, Trevose Station, the body was identified as Joshua Mcrae of Trenton, NJ. A postmortem was performed by Medical Examiner Dr. Hood who determined that Mcrae died of gunshot wounds. The manner of death was deemed a Homicide.


The victim Joshua Mcrae was born on April 18, 1988, and he was killed on January 19, 2020, at the age of 31. Joshua Mcrae resided in Trenton, New Jersey at the time of his death. Joshua Mcrae is survived by several children and was not married at the time of his death.


The investigation that followed lead to identification of Robert Shannon Christie, of Centre Street, Trenton, NJ as a target in the homicide of Joshua Mcrea.

According the affidavit, based on the facts, law enforcement investigation and subsequent Presentment by the Bucks County Investigating Grand Jury of Thursday August 11, 2022, a warrant of arrest was issued for Robert Shannon Christie DOB: 05/27/86 for the following violations of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code:

  1. Criminal Homicide.
  2. Criminal Conspiracy.
  3. Possession of Firearm prohibited.
  4. Flight to avoid apprehension.
  5. Tamper with evidence.
  6. Abuse of Corpse.
  7. Possession instrument of crime.
  8. Hindering Apprehension.


Multiple Injuries Reported When Boat Runs Aground In Toms River, NJ

A total of eight occupants were on board when a boat ran aground and ejected three of them into the water. Of the eight occupants five were injured, one serious, one moderate and three with minor injuries.

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–New Jersey State Police Trooper Charles Marchan told MidJersey.News that Troopers responded August 14, 2022, at 9:04 p.m. to a vessel crash at Middle Sedge, Toms River, Ocean County.

Based on preliminary investigation the vessel ran aground on Middle Sedge, Barnegat Bay. There was a total of eight occupants on board and three were ejected. The vessel was being operated by John P. Boyle III, a 58-year-old male from Bedminster, N.J. who sustained moderate injuries. Three occupants sustained no injuries, three sustained minor injuries and one sustained serious injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation and there is no additional information available at the moment.


The scene were a person with the most serious injuries was flown to a trauma center. Photos By: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response


East Windsor Township Dedicates Restored Etra Lake Park Arboretum Supported By Sustainable Jersey Grant

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Janice S. Mironov and Council Members joined with Environmental Commission members and Sustainable Jersey to dedicate the restored Township Arboretum at Etra Lake Park.  A Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation, supported the Arboretum project which included cleanup and access improvements, planting of native trees, installation of identification signage and markings which can be accessed via smartphone, and preparation of maps and informational materials to share with the community and promote the Arboretum. 

Mayor Mironov stated, “East Windsor is excited to open to the public this Arboretum located at Etra Lake Park to establish an educational center for students and our entire community.  The Township Arboretum will serve as a ‘living’ outdoor museum and educational resource for the community to share information on the legacy of trees and forest ecology in a creative and fun convenient park setting.  We look forward to residents utilizing the Arboretum to learn more about native trees and their role in local landscaping and planning, and providing and promoting self-guided tour materials to share the Arboretum.”   

The East Windsor Arboretum is easily accessible within East Windsor’s crown jewel Etra Lake Park, which offers many recreation opportunities including walking and jogging trails along with a rich landscape of plant species, birds and wildlife.    The Arboretum features 29 native tree species, a mix of newly planted and mature trees, marked with identification tags.  Each tree has a scannable smartphone QR code which provides a link to the description of the characteristics and origins of the tree.  The Arboretum start place is designated by a new large sign next to the park’s Environmental Center displaying a map and tree locations.   Some of the native tree species include:  sweetgum, white oak, sassafras, sycamore, mulberry, mockernut hickory, sweetbay magnolia and witch hazel, among the 29 trees featured.  An accompanying brochure with a depiction of the Arboretum map and tree locations assists self-guided tours.  The Arboretum provides educational value to the local community and schools.

East Windsor Township achieved and remains at the prestigious Silver Certified Level New Jersey Sustainable community and has been a Tree City USA municipality for the past 21 years.  Sustainable Jersey is a voluntary program open to municipalities and schools which desire to work collectively toward a more sustainable New Jersey. Acting with state agencies, non-profit organizations, foundations, academia and industry, Sustainable Jersey researches best practices for what communities could do to contribute to a sustainable future.

Mayor Janice S. Mironov and Council Members join with members of the East Windsor Environmental Commission and Green Team for the dedication of the restored Township Arboretum at Etra Lake Park. Pictured (from left to right) are: Council Member Alan Rosenberg; Ronald Balint, Chairperson, Environmental Commission and Green Team; Council Member John Zoller; Council Member David Russell; Adam Palant, Environmental Commission Member; Gary Wroblewski, Environmental Commission Member; Council Member Marc Lippman; Deputy Mayor Peter Yeager;  Mayor Janice Mironov, and Randall Solomon, Executive Director, Sustainable Jersey.


Allentown FFA chapter of Allentown, NJ, named 3 Star Chapter for 2022 National Chapter award by National FFA Organization

The Allentown FFA chapter of Allentown, NJ, has been recognized in 2022 National Chapter Award Program from the National FFA Organization.

The program recognizes outstanding FFA chapters from throughout the country that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. These chapters improve chapter operations using the National Quality FFA Chapter Standards and a Program of Activities that emphasizes growing leaders, building communities and strengthening agriculture. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership.

Chapters that received star ratings during judging this summer and will be recognized at the 95th National FFA Convention & Expo, Oct 26-29.

All star-rated FFA chapters receive honors made possible by corporate sponsor John Deere.

“At John Deere, we believe that FFA will grow the next generation of leaders capable of changing the world for the better,” Aaron Wetzel, vice president of production systems at John Deere, said. “Star chapters help inspire these vital leaders through their exceptional commitment to FFA’s mission, which they bring to life through inspiring agricultural education, rich career exploration, and meaningful community service.”

The National FFA Organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 735,000 student members as part of 8,817 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.



Shots Fired On Lamberton Road; Suspects Captured With 9mm Weapon On Mulberry & St. Joe’s

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora posted that early this morning August 15, 2022 there were shots fired on Lamberton Road near the Trenton Marine Terminal. Trenton Police pursued the suspected auto to Mulberry & St Joe’s Avenue where the suspect auto crashed. The occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody with a 9MM weapon. Shell casings were reportedly found at the scene. No injuries or property damage at this time.




19-Year-Old From Perth Amboy Killed In I-195 Motorcycle Crash In Robbinsville, NJ

New Jersey State Police Trooper Charles Marchan told MidJersey.News that Troopers responded on August 14, 2022 at 8:41 p.m. to a motor vehicle crash on Interstate 195 west, milepost 5.7, Robbinsville, Mercer County.

Based on a preliminary investigation a Shannon B. Monsell, a 34-year-old female of Ringoes, N.J. was operating a Nissan Rogue on I-195 west In Robbinsville. Mohammad A. Abbas a 19-year-old male of Perth Amboy was operating a Kawasaki motorcycle on I-195 west. In the area of milepost 5.7 the Nissan struck the rear of the motorcycle. As a result of the crash Mohammad Abbas was ejected from his vehicle and sustained fatal injuries. The crash remains under investigation and there is no additional information available at the moment.

The Robbinsville Township Fire Department, EMS, and Captial Health Paramedics responded to the scene.

Last night’s MidJersey.News story here:



BREAKING: Serious Boat Crash In Toms River

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Toms River Police Department reports that shortly after 9:00 p.m., this evening police, EMS, and fire units were dispatched to the area of Boca Raton on Chadwick Island for a reported boat that allegedly ran aground with passengers being ejected. There are several injuries reported at this time and multiple agencies are on the scene.  MidJersey.News has contacted NJSP for further details of the crash.

Sources tell MidJersey.news that five fire departments, EMS and EMS and Fire Coordinators responded for a boat vs land. A medevac was requested for a female with serious injuries. Six other injuries were reported non-life-threating.


Fatal Train Accident In Point Pleasant Beach

POINT PLESANT BEACH, NJ (OCEAN)–The Point Pleasant Beach Police Department, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and NJ Transit Police are investigating an incident that occurred on the train tracks at the Forman Ave crossing. All train crossings are currently open and operating normally at this time. The train has been moved and the investigation at the scene, has concluded. NJ Transit confirmed there was a fatality at the scene. No further details are available at this time.

Serious Crash Investigation On I-195 In Robbinsville Township, NJ

Updated story here:

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey State Police is conducting a serious crash investigation near mile post 5.7 west bound on I-195. The Robbinsville Township Fire Department, EMS and Capital Health Paramedics were dispatched at 8:43 p.m. for a crash involving a car and a motorcycle. New Jersey State Police closed the right lane and shoulder for the accident investigation. No further details are available about the crash at this time.


It was only 10 days ago where a Pennsauken, NJ woman was killed at the same mile post on August 4, 2022. You can read about that MidJersey.News story here:




Hamilton Firefighters Rescue Person Trapped In Lalor Street Crash

August 13, 2022

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Around 8:30 p.m. Hamilton Township Fire Department was dispatched to Lalor Street near Fitzrandolf Avenue for a serious motor vehicle crash with extrication. First arriving firefighters confirmed one person was trapped and had to use extrication equipment to remove the person from the vehicle. It was unclear how severe the injuries were or how many total were injured in the crash. Trenton Fire Department also received a call for the crash and responded to the scene. Hamilton Township Police Department is investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time. Please check back for updates as they become available.


Photos sent into Midjersey.News from the Lalor Street Crash in Hamilton tonight.


Robbinsville Police Department Employee Charged with Stealing More Than $250,000 in Township Property

Eric Coran, 41, of Medford, NJ a 21-year employee of the Robbinsville Township Police Department has been charged with stealing and selling property and equipment belonging to the police department for personal gain.

August 12, 2022

ROBBINSVILLE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office press release:

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Robbinsville Township Police Chief Michael Polaski announced today that a 21-year employee of the Robbinsville Township Police Department has been charged with stealing and selling property and equipment belonging to the police department for personal gain.

On Friday, August 12, 2022, a criminal complaint was signed charging Eric Coran, 41, of Medford, NJ, with second-degree official misconduct, multiple counts of theft, criminal computer activity and impersonation, and second-degree money laundering.  Coran has been employed by the Robbinsville Township Police Department as a communications officer since 2002.  His responsibilities included purchasing, ordering, programming, and maintaining police equipment including police radios, emergency lights, sirens and controllers.  Coran was terminated from his job on Friday after being suspended without pay since July 2022.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Public Corruption Unit and the Robbinsville Township Police Department.  The investigation revealed that between July 2021 and July 2022, Coran abused his position by fraudulently obtaining and altering purchase orders issued by the Township of Robbinsville to make unauthorized purchases for his own uses; making unauthorized purchases for his own uses utilizing the township’s Amazon account; and utilizing other means to steal Robbinsville property and funds.

Further, Coran sold various police radios, emergency lights, sirens and controllers over the internet using an alias and mailed them throughout the United States utilizing his Medford residence as a return address.  The approximate value of the stolen property is more than $250,000.  The investigation also revealed Coran utilized the credentials of both Chief Christopher Nitti and Chief Polaski without authorization to access and make alterations in a software program used by the Township of Robbinsville for budgeting and financial purposes to further and cover up his crimes.

“No one is above the law, especially public servants,” Prosecutor Onofri said.  “Individuals who abuse their positions and violate public trust should be prepared to face the consequences.”

“Eric was a long-time, trusted employee serving 21 years with the police department.  He was an important member of the team,” Chief Polaski said.  “We were both shocked and disappointed to learn that this had been going on.”

Coran’s criminal acts were uncovered in July when Motorola contacted the Robbinsville Township Police Department regarding service of one of the stolen radios.  The matter was brought to the attention of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and a joint investigation ensued.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Rachel Cook, chief of the Public Corruption Unit.  Second-degree crimes carry a penalty of five to 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 fine.  Third-degree crimes carry a penalty of three to five years in state prison and a $15,000 fine.  If convicted of the second-degree crime of money laundering, Coran faces a penalty of five–10 years in state prison, to run consecutive to the theft charges, and a $200,000 fine.  Additionally, he would be subject to a $500,000 anti-money laundering profiteering penalty.  The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Coran pending trial.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Mayor Dave Fried Statement on Eric Coran

“Today’s arrest and the charges leveled against Robbinsville Township Police Department Communications and Dispatch Coordinator Eric Coran are an unfathomable breach of trust by a long-time employee. Immediate action was taken, and he is no longer employed by the Township.

We talk all the time about owning our mistakes, and Robbinsville Township today is staying true to that and walking the walk. Our Police Department uncovered this alleged scheme, and it has already taken several proactive steps, featuring multiple layers of increased accountability, to help ensure this never happens again. At the end of the day this was not only outstanding police work, but outstanding police work under the tremendous strain of having to investigate one of their own. We want to thank Angelo Onofri and his team at the MCPO for granting us the resources needed to get where we are today. That said, we sincerely apologize to our residents for not catching this sooner. We will be submitting a claim to our insurance carrier to get all $250,000 reimbursed.

As this is an ongoing investigation, Robbinsville Township and the Robbinsville Township Police Department will have no further comment.” — Mayor Dave Fried


Eric Coran was Robbinsville Township Police Department’s Dispatcher Of The Year 2018



Traffic Alert: Route 539 Upper Freehold Township

August 12, 2022

UPPER FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A vehicle traveling in the area of 135 County Road 539 near the Cream Ridge Winery lost control, ran off the roadway and hit a utility pole. Firefighters from Upper Freehold Township – Hope Fire Company, Capital Health EMS – Allentown, and New Jersey State Police responded to the scene. First arriving firefighters reported the vehicle went though the pole and the driver was out of the vehicle. There were no apparent injuries in the crash.

Expect traffic delays on Route 539 between Polhemustown Road – Holmes Mill Road and Walnford Road near the Cream Ridge Winery while the utility pole is replaced.


West Windsor Police Blotter For July 2022

August 11, 2022

WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–The West Windsor Police Blotter for July 2022.


INCIDENT:  2022-19233  Service of Warrants

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  7/01/22  at  10:57 PM

LOCATION OCCURRED:  U.S. Route 1 & Alexander Rd.

OFFICER: Ptl. A. Mangone #112                

WHO: (ARRESTED, INJURED, DRIVER, VICTIM, OTHER)
Arrested: Vito Messina
                Resident of Trenton, NJ 08611

DETAILS:  Ptl. Mangone initiated a stop on a gray Hyundai sedan for an improper lane change. During the stop, Vito Messina was found to have warrants for his arrest from Ewing, Hamilton, and Trenton. Messina was processed at WWPD Headquarters and then transported to the Hamilton Police Department where he was turned over to them on their warrant.

OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE:  Lt. J. Lai #70

DATE OF RELEASE: 8/11/2022

****************

INCIDENT:  2022-19421  Shoplifting
                                             Hindering Apprehension
                                             Fugitive
                                             Service of Warrants

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  7/03/22  at  3:38 PM

LOCATION OCCURRED:  Ulta Beauty, 540 Nassau Park Blvd.
REPORTING OFFICERS:  Ptl. C. Siani #117
                                                 Ptl. D. Borup #115            

WHO: (ARRESTED, INJURED, DRIVER, VICTIM, OTHER)
Arrested: Natilia I. Victor
                Resident of Trenton, NJ 08618

DETAILS:  On July 3rd, Ptl. Siani took a report of shoplifting from Ulta Beauty. Three females were reported to have concealed over $8,000.00 dollars in designer fragrances into bags they brought with them and left the store without paying.
                     On July 17th, one of the suspects from this shoplifting returned to Ulta and store employees recognized her by her red hair and distinctive tattoos. Officers arrived on scene and shortly thereafter the suspect left the store. Officers detained Natilia Victor who used a NJ driver’s license belonging to someone else to hide her true identify. After positively identifying Victor as a one of the shoplifters from the July 3rd incident, and establishing her true identity, she was found to be a “Wanted Person” out of Pennsylvania, and to have warrants for her arrest from Ewing, Lawrence, and Trenton. Victor was processed at WWPD Headquarters and later transported to the Mercer County Correction Center.

OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE:  Lt. J. Lai #70

DATE OF RELEASE: 8/11/2022

****************

INCIDENT:  2022-19755  Receiving Stolen Property
                                             Hindering Apprehension
                                             Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
                                             Fugitives

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  7/06/22  at   7:30 PM

LOCATION OCCURRED:  Ulta Beauty, 540 Nassau Park Blvd.

REPORTING OFFICER:  Ptl. A. Mangone #112                 

WHO: (ARRESTED, INJURED, DRIVER, VICTIM, OTHER)
Arrested #1: Antaysha R. Watson
                     Resident of Trenton, NJ 08618

Arrested #2: Alisia M. Turner
                     Resident of Trenton, NJ 08611

DETAILS: Patrol Officers were detailed to Ulta Beauty for a shoplifting that had just occurred. The two suspects then went into Dick’s Sporting Goods where they were later located and detained by responding officers. During the investigation, Antaysha Watson was found in possession of a stolen tester bottle of Prada Luna Rossa fragrance valued at $100.00. She was also determined to have shoplifted clothing from Dick’s prior to officers locating her. Watson provided police with a false name, but further investigation revealed her true identity, and she was then found to be a “Wanted Person” out of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department. Alisia Turner was found in possession of drug paraphernalia, and was also determined to be a “Wanted Person” out of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department. Watson and Turner were processed at WWPD Headquarters and then transported to the Mercer County Correction Center.

OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE:  Lt. J. Lai #70

DATE OF RELEASE: 8/11/2022

****************

INCIDENT:  2022-19987  Fugitive

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  7/08/22  at  6:03 PM

LOCATION OCCURRED:  Nassau Park Blvd. & McClain Ave.

REPORTING OFFICER:  Ptl. M. Fattibene #114                   

WHO: (ARRESTED, INJURED, DRIVER, VICTIM, OTHER)
Arrested: Cameron Rogers
                Resident of Camden, NJ 08105

DETAILS: Patrol Units were detailed to the intersection of Nassau Park Blvd. and McClain Ave. for a male who was wearing a hospital gown, and walking in and out of the roadway. Officers arrived to find Cameron Rogers laying on a bench at the bus stop. He said that he had recently been released from a hospital in Trenton. Rogers was found to be a “Wanted Person” out of Camden County Probation and arrested. Rogers then stated that he was ill and needed to go back to the hospital. Officers had to stay with Rogers at the hospital for over 22 hours before Camden County Corrections was able to take custody of him.

OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE:  Lt. J. Lai #70

DATE OF RELEASE: 8/11/2022

****************

INCIDENT:  2022-20364  Shoplifting

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  7/12/22  at  6:57 PM
LOCATION OCCURRED:  Target, 500 Nassau Park Blvd.

WHO: (ARRESTED, INJURED, DRIVER, VICTIM, OTHER)
Arrested: Sebastian Parra-Torres
                Resident of Trenton, NJ 08618

OFFICER: Ptl. A. Mangone #112                    

DETAILS: Ptl. Mangone was detailed to Target for a shoplifter being detained by Asset Protection. Investigation revealed that Sebastian Parra-Torres had used the self-checkout to purchase several items, but failed to pay for the air conditioner valued at $319.99 in his shopping cart. Parra-Torres was processed at WWPD Headquarters and released pending a future date with Mercer County Superior Court.    

OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE:  Lt. J. Lai #70

DATE OF RELEASE: 8/22/2022

****************

INCIDENT:  2022-20473  Shoplifting
                                             Hindering Apprehension

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  7/13/22  at  2:32 PM

LOCATION OCCURRED:  Target, 500 Nassau Park Blvd.

WHO: (ARRESTED, INJURED, DRIVER, VICTIM, OTHER)
Arrested: Rodney A. Watts
                Resident of Bronx, NY 10454

REPORTING OFFICER: Ptl. J. Cherko 5113                   

DETAILS: Ptl. B. Caulfield #107 was on patrol of the Nassau Park Pavilion when Target Asset Protection flagged him down to report that a male he was following had just shoplifted from the store. Ptl. Caulfield then detained Rodney Watts for investigation. Investigation determined that Watts had filled a shopping cart and his backpack with $626.44 worth of merchandise and attempted to leave the store without paying. He was stopped by Asset Protection and abandoned the cart full of merchandise, but still had all the items in his backpack when he ran out of the store. Watts provided a false name to officers, but documents found in his possession revealed his true identity. Watts claimed illness and had to be transported to the hospital. He was charged and released pending a future date with Mercer County Superior Court.

OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE:  Lt. J. Lai #70

DATE OF RELEASE: 8/11/2022

****************

INCIDENT:  2022-21128  Shoplifting
                                             Hindering Apprehension
                                             Fugitive
                                             Service of Warrants

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  7/19/22  at  10:56 PM

LOCATION OCCURRED:  At HOME, 301 Nassau Park Blvd.

WHO: (ARRESTED, INJURED, DRIVER, VICTIM, OTHER)
Arrested: Denise Cromwell
                Resident of Trenton, NJ  08609

REPORTING OFFICER:  Ptl. M. Fattibene #114                  

DETAILS:  Ptl. Fattibene was detailed to a shoplifting from the AT HOME store where the suspect had left the store carrying a garbage bag containing store merchandise. Ptl. Fattibene located Denise Cromwell walking away from the bus stop and detained her. Inside the trash can next to the bus stop was a garbage bag containing four sets of new bedding that Cromwell had shoplifted from the store. Cromwell provided a false identity to officers, but investigation revealed her true identity, and that she was a “Wanted Person” out of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, and also had multiple warrants for her arrest from West Windsor, Hamilton, and Ewing. Cromwell claimed illness and had to be transported to the hospital for evaluation. Upon her release from the hospital several hours later, she was charged with the above offenses and transported to the Mercer County Correction Center.

OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE:  Lt. J. Lai #70

DATE OF RELEASE: 8/11/2022

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INCIDENTS:  2022-21665, 2022-21668, 2022-21669, & 2022-21670
                         Vehicle Burglaries, Theft, & Criminal Mischief

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  7/24/22 between 1:30 PM & 4:20 PM

LOCATION OCCURRED:  WaterWorks Parking Lot, 193 Princeton-Hightstown Rd.

OFFICER:  Ptl. J. Cherko #113          

DETAILS: Ptl. Cherko was detailed to the parking lot of the WaterWorks (located in Community Park) for a burglary to a vehicle. While on scene investigating, three more vehicle burglaries were found to have occurred. All four vehicles had their windows smashed to gain entry. Purses and Coach backpack were stolen from inside. Another vehicle burglary occurred at the Mercer County Park, with a similar timeframe and method of operation, where the vehicle’s window was smashed and a purse stolen from inside (Incident #2022-216840). Detectives M. Erkoboni and A. Robles responded to the scenes to look for evidence.

OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE:  Lt. J. Lai #70

DATE OF RELEASE: 8/11/2022

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INCIDENT:  2022-22120  Shoplifting

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  7/28/22  at  1:11 PM

LOCATION OCCURRED:  Target, 500 Nassau Park Blvd.

REPORTING OFFICER: Ptl. J. Chowanec #119                    

WHO: (ARRESTED, INJURED, DRIVER, VICTIM, OTHER)
Arrested: Francis Longo
                Resident of Mercerville, NJ 08619

DETAILS: Ptl. C. Van Ness and Ptl. J. Chowanec were detailed to Target for a shoplifter being detained by Asset Protection. Investigation found that Francis Longo had concealed a Lego set into a reusable shopping bag and attempted to leave the store without paying. Longo was processed at WWPD Headquarters and released pending a future date with West Windsor Municipal Court.

OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE:  Lt. J. Lai #70

DATE OF RELEASE: 8/11/2022

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INCIDENTS:  2022-22231 Burglary (Attempt) & Criminal Mischief
                         2022-22232 Burglary & Theft
                         2022-22234 Burglary (Attempt) & Criminal Mischief

DATE & TIME OCCURRED:  7/29/22  between 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM

LOCATION OCCURRED:  The Mews at Princeton Junction

REPORTING OFFICER:  Ptl. K. LaForge #104                

DETAILS:  Patrol Units responded to The Mews at Princeton Junction for an attempted burglary to an apartment. Investigation found that the victim heard a noise coming from her living room. When she went to check, she saw a light being shined in through her window. She screamed and slammed her bedroom door. When her husband went to see what happened he found a window screen had been ripped from the window frame and an unlocked window was opened. While officers canvassed the area for suspects, they found a partially open window on another apartment, and also located the resident and her friend outside. That victim stated that somehow her door chain was locked from the inside and she could not get into her own apartment. Officers forced entry into the apartment to look for a suspect but no one was found inside. This apartment had been ransacked and items stolen from inside. A third apartment was found to have cuts on the sliding door screen, one window screen had cuts in it, and another window screen had been ripped off, but all the doors and windows were locked so no entry was made. Detective Steimle and his K9 Brix from the Lawrence Police Department assisted and attempted to track the suspect. Det. A. Robles responded to scene to process for evidence.

OFFICER PREPARING RELEASE:  Lt. J. Lai #70

DATE OF RELEASE: 8/11/2022

****************


*Please note that charges are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.



Truck Fire On New Jersey Turnpike

August 10, 2022

CRANBURY TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Around 8:56 p.m. Hightstown and Cranbury Fire Departments were dispatched to the New Jersey Turnpike for a truck fire. The fire was reported in the area of mile post 69 in the outer roadway. Fire arriving firefighters reported that the truck was well involved in fire. Additional water tankers were called to the scene including one from Monroe Township Fire Department. Firefighters remained on scene for an extended time to mop up hot spots and overhaul. The fire is currently creating a two mile traffic delay in the north bound direction starting prior to Exit 8. The inner roadway is closed for construction and the fire is on the outer roadway and down to two lanes in the area of the fire. New Jersey State Police is directing traffic in the area and investigating.






State Police Investigate Fatal Crash Involving Bus, Two Dead and Three Seriously Injured in Two-Vehicle Crash

August 10, 2022

WOODBRIDGE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)– The New Jersey State Police is investigating a two-vehicle crash involving a double-decker Coach bus that resulted in two fatalities and three serious injuries on the New Jersey Turnpike in Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County.

On Tuesday, August 9, at approximately 6:53 p.m., a Van Hool double-decker Coach bus, occupied by the driver and 22 passengers, was traveling southbound in the left lane of the outer roadway and a Ford F-150 was traveling in the left-center lane next to the bus. Based on the preliminary investigation, the bus driver lost directional control of the bus in the area of milepost 93.2 and struck the Ford. After the impact, the bus went off the road to the right, struck the guardrail, and overturned onto the Thomas Edison Service Area entrance ramp.

As a result of the crash, 2 passengers on the bus sustained fatal injuries, 2 passengers sustained serious injuries, 14 passengers sustained non-life-threatening injuries, and 4 passengers sustained no injuries. Cheryl Johnson, 59, of Bronx, N.Y. sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene. Cecilia Kiyanitza, 66, of Woodbury, N.J. was airlifted to an area hospital where she was later pronounced deceased.  The driver of the bus, a 56-year-old male of Westville, N.J., sustained serious injuries. No injuries were reported to the driver of the Ford.

The victims were transported to the following area hospitals: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Raritan Bay Medical Center, and Staten Island University Hospital.

The crash remains under investigation and there is no additional information available.


Photos and video provided by: Gary Lee Fortner




OSHA Investigating Three Worker Deaths In NJ Related To Amazon Warehouses

US Attorney’s Office for Southern District of New York Conducts Investigation Into Amazon Warehouse Safety And Related Issues

August 10, 2022

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The U.S. Department of Labor, Regional Director of Public Affairs, Leni Fortson has confirmed that OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating three worker deaths at Amazon facilities in New Jersey. The Amazon facilities are located in Cateret, Robbinsville and Monroe Township, NJ.

  • A worker fatality on July 13 at an Amazon facility in Carteret, NJ
  • An accident on July 24 at an Amazon facility in Robbinsville, NJ . The worker died on July 27.
  • A worker fatality on August 4 at an Amazon facility in Monroe Township, NJ

OSHA has up to six months to complete each investigation. Since these are all open investigations, this is all the information available at this time.


Sam Stephenson, an Amazon Spokesperson told MidJersey.News “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of our colleagues and offer our condolences to their family and friends. Each of these tragic incidents have affected our teams greatly, and we are providing resources for families and employees who need them. Our investigations are ongoing and we’re cooperating with OSHA, which is conducting its own reviews of the events, as it often does in these situations.”

On attributable background:

  1. As part of their normal operating procedures, OSHA often investigates deaths that occur in the workplace. We’re working with them as they conduct a review of these situations.
  2. Regarding our EWR9 facility in Carteret, NJ, our internal investigation has shown that this was not a work-related incident, and instead was related to a personal medical condition. OSHA is currently investigating the incident, and, based upon the evidence currently available to us, we fully expect that it will reach the same conclusion.

The Robbinsville Township Police Department reported they responded at 8:06 a.m., on Sunday July 24, 2022, to 18 Applegate Drive (Amazon Warehouse) for a fall victim.  The police report indicates that the worker fell from approximately three feet off a ladder striking his head.  The accident was reported in an open docking bay.  When police officers arrived, the worker was conscious and alert, but it was reported that CPR was conducted by workers on scene prior to police arrival.  The victim was subsequently transported to Capitol Health Regional Trauma Center by Robbinsville Ambulance and Paramedics.  Police notified OSHA of the incident on the same day.


United States Attorney’s Office for Southern District of NY Amazon Warehouse Investigation

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is investigating workplace safety and related issues at Amazon warehouses, including injuries resulting from workplace hazards, worker rate requirements and the pace of work, and whether Amazon appropriately reported on-the-job injuries.  We would like to hear from current and former warehouse workers, supervisors, safety team members, AmCare staff, or anyone else with relevant information.   

Thank you for taking the time to report your information regarding workplace safety and related issues at Amazon warehouses.  We understand that not all these questions are applicable to every person’s experience, so please provide as much information as you are comfortable sharing and at the end you will have the opportunity to provide any additional information you would like to share. 

If you have worked at Amazon and want to report safety and related issues at an Amazon warehouse you can access the form here: SDNY Amazon Warehouse Investigation



An accident on July 24 at an Amazon facility in Robbinsville, NJ . The worker died on July 27.


A worker fatality on August 4 at an Amazon facility in Monroe Township, NJ


Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. and Donald Norcross called on OSHA to investigate the abnormally high rate of serious injury at Amazon’s New Jersey warehouses. Following the death of a New Jersey warehouse worker during the Prime Day rush, we must have transparency and accountability.

U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) reiterated his call for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate the safety of Amazon’s warehouses following reports of a death at one of the company’s warehouses in New Jersey. He also expressed surprise at the news that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is investigating Amazon warehouses. They have called on current and former Amazon warehouse workers to fill out this form to aid the investigation.  

“Based on my experience in labor and workplace safety issues, it is exceptionally rare for the U.S. Attorney’s Office to get involved in worker safety problems, something that traditionally falls under the jurisdiction of OSHA. I am very interested to see where this investigation leads,” said Congressman Norcross. “Given the number of calls my office has received from Amazon employees, it is critically important for OSHA to conduct a thorough analysis and investigation of Amazon’s facilities to ensure warehouse workers are safe.”

According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, it is “investigating workplace safety and related issues at Amazon warehouses, including injuries resulting from workplace hazards, worker rate requirements and the pace of work, and whether Amazon appropriately reported on-the-job injuries.”

Congressman Norcross called on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to investigate the abnormally high rate of serious injuries at Amazon warehouses in April 2022.

Southern New Jersey Amazon warehouse workers who have experienced or witnessed unsafe work conditions in New Jersey Amazon warehouses can also contact OSHA’s Marlton Area Office at (856) 596-5200.




Area Fire Departments And Emergency Water Supply Companies Respond To Newark For Water Emergency

August 8, 2022

NEWARK, NJ — Earlier today there was a major water main break in Branch Brook Park near the Newark/Belleville border causing low pressure for the City of Newark and Township of Belleville. Several area fire departments and Flynn Water are providing emergency water for the City of Newark until repairs are made and water pressure returns to a safe level for firefighting other use. Tankers and other units will assist Newark Fire Department to supply water to their scenes in the event of a fire.

Jamesburg Fire Company, Monroe Township Fire Department, and South Amboy from Middlesex County are in Newark standing by overnight.

Budd Lake Fire Department and Flanders Fire Department of Morris County answered the call sending Engine 59 staffed by Budd Lake and Flanders Firefighters. Engine 59 is in quarters with Newark Engine 13, Newark Ladder 6 and Tenders from Jefferson and Mt. Arlington.

There are more standing by from around the state for the water emergency in Newark as information becomes available it will be added to the list of department.


Flynn Water of Juliustown, NJ is supplying emergency water to University Hospital in Newark due to the low pressure from the water main break.







Due to a severe water main break in the city of Newark the city’s fire department requested assistance from surrounding counties for tenders, tankers and engines. Budd Lake And Flanders Fire answered the call sending Engine 59 staffed by Budd Lake and Flanders Firefighters. Engine 59 is in quarters with Newark Engine 13, Newark Ladder 6 and Tenders from Jefferson and Mt. Arlington. These Morris County assets will assist Newark Fire Department to supply water to their scenes in the event of a fire. Thank You to these members for taking on this detail. #buddlakefire #flandersfire #newarkfiredepartment


NJ State Police Reports, 1 Dead And Multiple Injured In NJ Turnpike Bus Crash


August 10, 2022 Update here:


August 9, 2022

WOODBRIDGE, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The New Jersey State Police reported that Troopers responded at 6:53 p.m., to a crash involving an overturned bus on the New Jersey Turnpike. The crash occurred south bound near the Thomas Edison Service Area entrance ramp from the outer roadway. There are multiple injuries with 1 confirmed fatality. The New Jersey Turnpike outer roadway and service area ramp are closed for the investigation. Further details to follow.

Sources tell MidJersey.News that there were eight with moderate to severe injuries and fifteen walking wounded. NJSP confirms the one death and multiple injuries.


At approximately 6:53 p.m., troopers responded to the report of a crash involving a bus carrying approximately 20 passengers and a pickup truck on the New Jersey Turnpike south on the outer roadway at milepost 93.1 in Woodbridge Township.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the bus went off the road to the right and overturned onto the entrance ramp to the Thomas Edison Service Area. There is 1 confirmed fatality and 5 serious injuries. The outer roadway remains closed for the accident investigation.



Photos and video provided by: Gary Lee Fortner






Lakewood Man Arrested For Child Pornography And Failure To Register As A Sex Offender

August 9, 2022

LAKEWOOD, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 8, 2022, Matthew Robles, 31, of Lakewood was charged with two counts of Distribution of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a)(i), as well as Possession of Child Pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(b)(iii). Robles had previously been charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2d(1), on August 5, 2022.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit revealed that Robles – a Megan’s Law Registrant under the supervision of the New Jersey Division of Parole- has been employed at a local business establishment in Brick Township without registering or notifying any law enforcement agencies. Since 1994, Megan’s Law requires certain offenders to register with their local police departments whenever they move and/or change their residential address or place of employment.

On July 26, 2022, Officers from the Division of Parole conducted a home visit and discovered images of child pornography on Robles’ cellular phone. Robles was taken into custody and transported to the Ocean County Jail for various violations of his parole. All of Robles’ electronic devices were seized by law enforcement for forensic examination purposes.

On July 28, 2022, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit executed a court authorized search warrant on Robles’ electronic devices. As a result, Detectives discovered that Robles had been uploading and sharing images of child pornography on the internet by way of the WhatsApp Application. On August 5, 2022, Robles was served with a complaint initially charging him with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender at the Ocean County Jail. On August 8, 2022, Robles was served with the previously referenced complaints in connection with the child pornography charges. He remains lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

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

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Megan’s Law Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, New Jersey Division of Parole, and Lakewood Township Police Department, for their collaborative assistance in connection with this investigation leading to Robles’ arrest and appropriate charges.

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).



Murphy Administration Urges NJ Residents and Businesses to Conserve Water to Avoid Worsening Water Supply Conditions

August 9, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–New Jersey Commissioner of Environmental Protection Shawn M. LaTourette issued a statewide drought watch as of August 9, 2022, and the Murphy Administration is urging residents and businesses to conserve water as persistent dry and hot conditions continue to stress water supplies throughout the state.

The Commissioner’s declaration of a drought watch is the first in the State’s three-stage drought advisory system. The watch is intended to sow public awareness and appreciation of the stress upon water supply sources and encourage voluntary water conservation measures. If conditions do not improve, declaration of a drought warning or a drought emergency with mandatory water use restrictions may become necessary. Voluntary conservation measures at the watch stage can help to avoid more serious and restrictive drought conditions.

“Stream flow and ground water levels are falling below normal for most of the state and some reservoirs are showing steep rates of decline as hot and dry conditions continue,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “While water conservation is always important, it becomes critical during prolonged dry and hot periods like New Jersey has been experiencing. If residents and businesses do all they can to reduce water demand, together we can ensure ample supplies in the coming weeks and months.”

At this time of year, more than 30 percent of water demand in suburban areas is for outdoor purposes, much of which can be reduced or avoided. The public can make a big difference by reducing watering of lawns and landscaping, reducing the washing of vehicles, and cutting back nonessential uses such as hosing off driveways and sidewalks. Residents and businesses can also practice many conservation measures to reduce indoor water use. For more water conservation tips, visit https://dep.nj.gov/conserve-water/

On July 26, the DEP reminded residents and businesses of the impact hot and dry conditions could have on supplies and asked for the public’s assistance to moderate demand. Water conservation measures are vital tools that will help New Jersey residents and businesses as we continue to confront a changing climate.

As explained in the New Jersey-specific Scientific Report on Climate Change first released in July 2020, while New Jersey will experience a greater frequency of intense rain events, and decreases in precipitation may occur in the summer months, resulting in greater potential for more frequent and prolonged droughts.

The most up-to-date information about the status of New Jersey’s water supplies can be found at dep.nj.gov/drought. The last drought watch or warning to be declared in New Jersey was in 2016. The last drought emergency with mandatory water use restrictions was declared in 2002. In October 2016, the DEP placed 14 counties in the northern, central, and northern coastal areas of New Jersey under a drought warning due to ongoing precipitation deficits and deteriorating water-supply conditions, particularly storage levels in reservoirs. At the same time, regions along the lower Delaware River were placed under a watch. All regional drought warnings and watches were lifted by August 2017. In March 2002, then-Governor Jim McGreevey declared a drought emergency, which was lifted in January 2003.

The DEP is continuing to closely monitor drought indicators, which include precipitation, stream flows, reservoir levels, ground water levels, and water demand. DEP will continue to inform the public, local governments, and water systems of future actions to mitigate the risk of more severe conditions.

The DEP has prepared a Conserve Water Toolkit at dep.nj.gov/conserve-water/toolkit which provides infographics, a flyer, a video and social media resources that can be downloaded and used by organizations and government agencies to spread information on drought conditions and water conservation.


Corn in East Windsor, New Jersey on August 9, 2022 showing crop damage to lack of rain.








TPD Director Wilson Corrects Record on Crime

August 8, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Director Steve Wilson today provided an update on crime throughout the City of Trenton in rebuttal to misinformation propagated by members of City Council during their combined session on Thursday, August 4.

“I am proud of the work the Department has been doing this year, and I am especially proud of my officers on the ground who make Trenton safer every day for residents, business owners and visitors,” Director Wilson said. “The information shared by some members of Council last night was dangerously inaccurate, but I am glad to correct the record and share the successes of the Trenton Police Department with the public.”

Wilson specifically cited information shared by Council members Sonya Wilkins, Robin Vaughn, and Kathy McBride as “just plain wrong.” At Thursday’s meeting, Councilwoman Vaughn referenced “carnage in the streets,” and Council President McBride referenced nine shootings that took place on Oliver Avenue or Olive Street. Police collected no evidence of any such series of shootings from ShotSpotter and there were no reports of any such event, though Director Wilson encourages the Council President to contact TPD with any evidence she may have of the “shootout” she described in her civic comments.

Further, Councilwoman Wilkins suggested that crime statistics are not shared with the public and that “no one is saying anything” about the previously mentioned (aforementioned) crimes. The Councilwoman stated that “there is so much crime that is running rampant,” while in truth, crime rates are trending down.

Currently the City of Trenton has a 46% decrease in shooting homicides, year to date, overall homicides have a decrease of 20% year to date compared to the same time period last year. For the 28-day period ending July 31, 2022, there was a 100% decrease in shooting homicides, as there were zero during that time compared to six during the same period in 2021. Similarly, the total number of shooting victims was down 50% during that time and total shooting incidents were down 45%. From January 1, 2022 to July 15, 2022 gun recoveries are up 31% as compared to the same time period last year totaling 136 guns.

Clearance rates, meanwhile, are up, with a 32% total clearance rate for shootings where an individual was hit for the year to date and a 46% clearance rate for shootings where an individual was not hit. This is higher than the national average of 25-30% and significantly higher than the 13% total clearance rate for a similar time period in 2021.

“One shooting, of course, is still too many. But the data show that the homicide rate is trending down in the City, and I can assure members of Council and the public that the Trenton Police Department is transparent and accurate with our reporting,” Director Wilson added. “Our best asset, though, is the public themselves, and if you see something, please call us and say something. This includes our elected leaders – if they have information concerning a crime that has taken place, please call me and let me know.”

-Trenton Police Director Steve Wilson, File photo by: Brian McCarthy

Booker, Kim Discuss On P.O.I.N.T Program with Ocean County Police Departments and Medical Professionals

August 8, 2022

Stafford Township, NJ – Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Andy Kim (D-NJ-03) joined the Stafford Police Department, Bright Harbor Health Care, and seven area police departments to highlight the On P.O.I.N.T. program, which provides on-site social workers for police departments to address the high volume of mental health, substance abuse, and social service-related calls and incidents that police receive. Booker and Kim secured $32,000 in congressionally directed funding to expand the On P.O.I.N.T. program this year.

Since its establishment in 2016, On P.O.I.N.T. has expanded to include nine total police departments. The program provides early intervention by diverting individuals experiencing mental health crises from the criminal justice system into the appropriate health care system. During the meeting, Booker and Kim discussed the challenges that police departments and medical providers have faced while responding to these incidents and the success of the innovative program.

“As law enforcement officers have often told me, police departments are overburdened responding to distressful calls that involve issues related to mental illness, addiction, or poverty,” said Sen. Booker. “Appropriately addressing these challenges requires the expertise of social workers, medical professionals, and mental health experts. With the On P.O.I.N.T program, police departments are receiving the support they need to help the most vulnerable. I am proud to have fought alongside Rep. Any Kim for funding to expand this vital initiative and was grateful to hear from stakeholders today about their experiences implementing and using the program.”

“Our police officers are the first ones to answer the call when we are in danger and it’s up to us to make sure they have the resources they need to continue doing this important work,” said Congressman Andy Kim. “I’m proud to have worked with Senator Booker to secure funding for Stafford Police Department to expand their successful and innovative On P.O.I.N.T. partnership with Bright Harbor Healthcare to include Barnegat Police Department. Together, our local police and mental health professionals are improving outcomes, reducing violence, having safer interactions, and improving community relations.”

“There has been a gap between how law enforcement and the mental health and substance use treatment systems have interacted with each otherwe both try to help the same community members, however we have often not communicated with each other or worked in concert,” said Meghan Corrigan, co-creator of the On P.O.I.N.T. at Bright Harbor Healthcare. “The On P.O.I.N.T. program was intentionally designed to address the gap between law enforcement’s initial observation and triage of a crisis to long term treatment and support to resolve the underlying cause of the crisis.”

“I thank both Senator Booker and Congressman Kim for their continued support of the On P.O.I.N.T. program,” said Thomas Dellane, Stafford Township Police Chief. “Their advocacy on behalf of the program has enabled On P.O.I.N.T. staff to effectuate positive change in many people’s lives thereby improving the mental and physical health of communities that On P.O.I.N.T. serves.”

Today’s event was part of Booker’s 2022 Jersey Summer Road Trip, a series of stops highlighting the priorities he continues to fight for in the U.S. Senate on behalf of the state’s residents. The road trip will focus on Booker’s ongoing commitment to serving New Jersey’s veterans, his efforts to secure congressionally directed spending for critical New Jersey projects and organizations, and his support of local businesses and industries, and much more.



Booker Visits Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May, New Jersey

August 8, 2022

CAPE MAY, NJ –Today, as part of his 2022 Jersey Summer Road Trip, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined stakeholders and local elected officials for a tour of the Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey in Cape May.

The Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey opened their doors on Juneteenth 2021 and features artifacts and art from Harriet Tubman’s time in New Jersey when she worked as a cook in a Cape May hotel and raised funds to rescue enslaved people. The museum also highlights the history of Cape May as a crucial stop on the Underground Railroad and a center of abolitionist activity.

“Harriet Tubman is a personal hero of mine and was a harbinger of hope for many,” said Sen. Booker. “Even after securing her own freedom, Tubman led hundreds of other people held as slaves out of bondage, a testament to her unfathomable courage and righteous calling. I am proud to see her incredible life memorialized at this museum and am grateful for the stakeholders and members of the community who led a grassroots effort to preserve the rich history of the African American community in Cape May and New Jersey’s legacy as a beacon of freedom.”

“Senator Booker has been an important supporter of the Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey since its inception,” said Cynthia Mullock, Executive Director of the Harriet Tubman Museum of New Jersey. “Considering his own inspiring advocacy for issues of social justice and human dignity, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to share Harriet Tubman’s time in Cape May, the narratives of the abolitionist community who supported her, and our “small museum with a big story” with him today.”

Booker’s 2022 Jersey Summer Road Trip features a series of events spanning the Garden State that will highlight the priorities he continues to fight for in the Senate on behalf of state residents.


Previous story at the Harriet Tubman Museum:


Little Egg Harbor Man Pleads Guilty To Leaving The Scene Of A Motor Vehicle Accident, DUI, And Aggravated Assault On A Law Enforcement Officer

August 8, 2022

LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on August 8, 2022, John Madden, 43, of Little Egg Harbor Township, pled guilty to Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1.1, as well as Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, in connection with an incident that occurred in Long Beach Township on April 8, 2020. Madden also pled guilty to an unrelated charge of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b(5)(a), in connection with an incident that occurred in Little Egg Harbor on April 4, 2020. At the time of his sentencing on September 30, 2022, the State will be seeking a term of three years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) with respect to the Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident charge, and 18 months NJSP as to the charge of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. The sentences are to run concurrently.

On April 8, 2020, Officers from the Long Beach Township Police Department were summoned to the area of Long Beach Boulevard for a report of a hit-and-run involving serious injuries to a bicyclist. An investigation by the Long Beach Township Police Department, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, revealed that Daniel Bogacz, 63, of Beach Haven, was riding his bicycle northbound on Long Beach Boulevard when he was struck by a 2020 Jeep Liberty, also traveling northbound. The Jeep Liberty did not stop to render aid, but instead made a U-turn and accelerated past the injured victim. Mr. Boaz was air-lifted to Atlantic City Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries and later released.

Further investigation revealed that Madden was, in fact, the driver of the Jeep Liberty. Madden was arrested at his residence in Little Egg Harbor on April 8, 2020 without incident. He was initially transported to Southern Ocean Medical Center in Stafford Township where a blood draw was taken from Madden pursuant to a court-authorized warrant. He was thereafter transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Laboratory results of Madden’s blood draw – received by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in the course of the investigation – revealed his Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) to be .245 percent. In the State of New Jersey, an operator of a motor vehicle is presumed to be over the legal limit for purposes of alcohol consumption where his/her BAC is .08 or greater.

On April 4, 2020, Officers from the Little Egg Harbor Police Department were summoned to a convenience store on Mathis town Road for a report of a shoplifter. Responding Officers determined that the manager of the store witnessed Madden shoplifting and confronted him. The manager of the store asked an off-duty New Jersey State Park Police Officer – who happened to be at the convenience store and was in uniform at the time – for assistance. As the off-duty officer attempted to detain Madden, he pushed the officer in an attempt to get away. The officer was able to detain Madden until Little Egg Harbor Police arrived. Madden was arrested and transported to the Ocean County Jail, and later released as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Long Beach Township Police Department, Harvey Cedars Police Department, Surf City Police Department, Little Egg Harbor Police Department, Ship Bottom Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their efforts and assistance in connection with these investigations leading to Madden’s apprehension, guilty pleas, and soon his state prison sentence.


Morganville, NJ, Man, Co-Owner Of Multiple Companies Admits To Role In Failing To Pay Over $1M In Payroll Taxes

August 8, 2022

A co-owner of multiple businesses today admitted to his role failing to pay over $1 million in payroll taxes for his companies, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Omar Mostafa, 57, of Morganville, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Georgette Castner to an information charging him with willful failure to collect or pay taxes.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From 2016 through 2018, Mostafa co-owned three companies that operated in New Jersey and New York and was responsible for signing and causing to be filed the companies’ tax returns with the IRS. During those tax years, Mostafa substantially underreported each company’s payroll, causing a total tax loss to the IRS of approximately $1.4 million.

The count of failing to collect, account for, and pay employment taxes is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy L. Tomlins, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Fatime Meka Cano of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

22-294

Defense counsel: Joseph Sorrentino Esq., New York



$10 Million in Federal Funds to Support Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs that Reduce the Cycle of Gun Violence in Communities

Murphy Administration Allocates American Recovery Plan Funds to Continue Innovative Programming First Launched in January 2020

August 8, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy and Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced the allocation of $10 million in federal American Recovery Plan (ARP) funds to continue funding for the State’s Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIPs), which directly help gun violence victims and serve to break the cycle of gun violence.

In January 2020, the Murphy Administration and the Attorney General’s Office awarded $20 million in federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) dollars to fund nine HVIPs across New Jersey to reach victims of gun violence and others touched by violence at the time of crisis. These programs are considered by experts and practitioners to be one of the crucial strategies for violence intervention and prevention services and established New Jersey as a national leader in stemming gun violence. A primary goal of the HVIP is to link hospitals with community-based organizations that are already working hard to assist victims and prevent the spread of violence.

By partnering with community organizations to provide services to victims and families in hospitals following a shooting, the program has shown an ability to reduce the cycle of gun violence when retaliation is most likely to occur and spread. When the $20 million in competitive federal VOCA funding was announced, selected hospitals received two years of HVIP funding, some of which the hospitals sub-awarded to community-based providers in their areas to help directly deliver services to those impacted by gun violence. At the end of the two-year grant period, the Attorney General’s Office made available a third year of VOCA funding in the amount of $10.3 million.

Building on the success of this program and to further develop and strengthen a community-based approach to public safety, in 2021 Governor Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office announced the creation of an entirely new grant program to meaningfully expand violence intervention work in New Jersey, announcing $10 million in state funding to establish Community-Based Violence Intervention Programs (CBVIs). Currently, CBVI grants directly fund more than 20 community organizations in 15 municipalities covering every region of the State, supporting intervention strategies that help communities reduce homicides and shootings by developing healing relationships among the groups and individuals who are at the center of gun violence.

During this time, the AG’s Office learned of an upcoming decrease in federal VOCA funds that would also support HVIPs and worked with the Murphy Administration to identify alternative sources of funding. The federal ARP funds will provide this alternative funding source for the HVIP program for at least another 12 months after the VOCA funds are expended. Further details on this competitive program will be made available in the upcoming months.

“Earlier this year, I signed my comprehensive Gun Safety 3.0 package, which strengthened gun laws across our state, bringing us one step closer to a stronger, fairer, and safer New Jersey. Today’s continued funding of the Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program is another step toward that reality,” said Governor Murphy. “I am proud of the work that this Administration has done thus far and am committed to continuing to address the gun violence epidemic our State is facing.”

“Make no mistake – this investment in our HVIP initiative will save lives,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “Thanks to the Governor’s leadership, New Jersey will continue its groundbreaking efforts in violence intervention programming by disrupting cycles of violence before they start. I applaud the challenging, but essential, work of our hospital and community partners and will continue to champion these programs as Attorney General.”

“Thank you to the Governor, the Acting Attorney General, and their teams for their fast action and continued support,” said Aqeela Sherrills, Executive Director of the Community-Based Public Safety Collective. “Thanks to the New Jersey Violence Intervention and Prevention Coalition for their lifesaving work. We look forward to continued partnership with the Attorney General’s Office to advance community-based public safety in New Jersey.”

“It is reassuring that the Governor and his team have made the necessary investment to keep existing Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs operable for the rest of the year,” said Will Simpson of the New Jersey Violence Intervention and Prevention Coalition. “The NJVIPC will support any and all efforts to establish more expansive, long-term funding for a community-centered public safety ecosystem. We are looking forward to having more consistent and transparent communication with the Office of the Attorney General and the Murphy Administration to ensure the needs of the community are being heard and met.”

“The Paterson Healing Collective is pleased to learn that the Governor has heard our calls to action so that we can keep doing the life-changing and life-saving work we have been doing for the last two years,” said Dr. Liza Chowdhury, Director of the Paterson Healing Collective. “Our survivors and community members rely on our services and we could not afford to lose the resources that positively impact their lives. We look forward to continued efforts to sustain HVIPs and CVI programs in the future.”

“As a gun violence survivor, I know the importance of the work,” said Pam Johnson, Executive Director of the Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition. “From a personal standpoint and a professional standpoint, I know that with this investment we can save more lives and do more healing.”

“I am grateful to the Murphy Administration and the Attorney General’s Office for finding the resources to maintain these powerful community led programs,” said Rev. Dr. Charles F. Boyer, Founding Director, Salvation and Social Justice. “I never doubted their commitment to this work. These programs are critical for putting the public back in public safety.”

“We applaud the Attorney General’s Office for addressing the urgent need to support the work of hospital and community-based violence intervention programs in New Jersey,” said Joe Kim, Associate Director, Training and Technical Assistance at The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention. “As the lead technical assistance agency for the HVIPs across NJ, the HAVI is committed to the ongoing work of ensuring that victims of violence are given the resources and supports they need to heal from trauma and break cycles of violence. We are proud to stand with our community and hospital partners to ensure these services are sustainable for years to come.”

“Revive South Jersey understands the importance of providing services to victims of gun violence and then working proactively to prevent future victimizations,” said Jonathan Cummings, Executive Director of Revive South Jersey. “As a South Jersey stakeholder that has been partnering with the Bridgeton Police Athletic league for the last five years, we understand the necessity of this work in our community. The investment in the HVIP will provide critical support to continuing the vital service of working to prevent gun violence in the state.”

“One of our team members has served over 200 victims of violence at University Hospital’s HVIP, preventing retaliation and repeat victimization. We are grateful that she and the rest of the team will continue to serve victims uninterrupted.” –Statement from the Newark Community Street Team.

The initial $20 million VOCA investment along with the additional third year of VOCA funding in HVIP grants were awarded to the following hospitals:

Center for Family Services, City of Camden, Camden County
Trinitas Health Foundation, Elizabeth, Union County
AtlantiCare Atlantic City, Atlantic County
Capital Health, Trenton, Mercer County
Jersey City Medical Center (RWJBarnabas), Jersey City, Hudson County
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick (Serving Middlesex, Somerset and Union Counties)
University Hospital, Newark, Essex County
Jersey Shore University Medical Center/Hackensack Meridian, Monmouth County (Focusing on Asbury Park, Neptune Township and Long Branch City)
St. Joseph’s Health, Paterson, Passaic County



East Windsor Township Celebrates National Night Out

August 8, 2022

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–East Windsor Township celebrated “National Night Out” on August 2, at the East Windsor P.A.L. complex, which featured crime watch information, fire and EMS equipment displays, games and activities, and over 60 organization and business booths.  The event, hosted by Mayor Janice Mironov and Council Members and Chief of Police James Geary and the police department and attended by well over 2,000 people, was to demonstrate the commitment of East Windsor Township to promoting a cooperative partnership among police, local government officials and citizens to vigilance and crime prevention throughout the East Windsor community. 

Mayor Mironov issued a Mayoral Proclamation which was presented to the Neighborhood Crime Watch members, reading “National Night Out Against Crime is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and foremost send a strong message to criminals letting them that the community and police have joined together in fighting crime.”

The many fun and educational activities at National Night Out included demonstrations by canine trained in detecting illegal drugs, child car safety seat inspections and police car tours, as well as fire hose demonstrations, climbing obstacle course, inflatable games, face painting and air brush tattoos, plus music and refreshments.  Community groups and area businesses hosted booths with information and giveaways supporting the National Night Out theme.

Mayor Mironov stated,  “National Night Out was a tremendous community success and we thank our police department, our volunteer fire company and rescue squad volunteers, and the many businesses and organizations for their support and participation in helping to make East Windsor’s National Night Out such an outstanding event.”


Mayor Janice S. Mironov presents Proclamation for 2022 “National Night Out” to East Windsor Neighborhood Crime Watch members during the event held at the East Windsor P.A.L. complex.  Pictured (from left to right) are:  Neighborhood Crime Watch Member Wayne Varga;  Neighborhood Crime Watch Member Joseph Lamagna;  Neighborhood Crime Watch Member Mindy Gerber;  Neighborhood Crime Watch Member Richard LaBone;  Neighborhood Crime Watch Chairperson Vincent Citarella;  Council Member John Zoller;  Mayor Janice S. Mironov;  Council Member David Russell;  Police Lieutenant Ryan Mattek;  Police Chief James Geary;  Council Member Marc Lippman;  Deputy Mayor Peter Yeager, and Council Member Alan Rosenberg.