Month: August 2022

86,000 E-ZPass Customers Overcharged At Route 1 Toll Bridge; Charged $9.00 For $1.25 Toll, Refunds On The Way


Follow up to story MidJersey.News brought you on August 2, 2022


August 24, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission is working with its E-ZPass service providers — TransCore and Conduent — to proactively adjust the accounts of E-ZPass passenger-vehicle customers overcharged in the Trenton-Morrisville (Route 1) Toll Bridge’s right E-ZPass-only lane between February 1 and July 7.

This automated process currently is projected to be completed on or about September 9.  When E-ZPass customers will see the retroactive adjustments reflected in their accounts, however, will depend on the respective customer service center that issued their E-ZPass transponder and administers their account.

Affected E-ZPass motorists are requested to refrain from making individual requests on Trenton-Morrisville Bridge passenger vehicle misclassifications while this electronic adjustment process is underway.

A damaged piece of electronic tolling equipment in one of the bridge’s two E-ZPass-only lanes sporadically caused thousands of passenger vehicles to be classified as a truck and charged a $9 toll instead of the prescribed $1.25 fare between February 1 and July 7.

An investigation Commission staff conducted with TransCore and Conduent in recent weeks has determined that of the roughly 1.4 million toll transactions recorded in the problematic Trenton-Morrisville toll lane between February and early July, around 86,000 of them (or about 6.1 percent) involved passenger vehicle misclassifications.  TransCore is the Commission’s in-lane toll service provider, largely handling the hardware and software that records and relays transactions at Commission tolling points.  Conduent is the company that operates the regional New Jersey E-ZPass Customer Service Center, which processes the toll transactions and violations recorded at Commission toll bridges.

The recent problem at the Trenton-Morrisville (Route 1) Toll Bridge initially appeared to be confined to SUVs, vans, pickup trucks, and cars with higher profiles, but investigation revealed misreads occurring intermittently with virtually any type of passenger vehicle.

The damaged piece of in-lane toll equipment – an overhead LED/infrared vehicle profiler unit that classifies vehicles for toll charges – apparently had been struck on multiple occasions by flat-bed trailers stacked with poorly anchored loads of crushed motor vehicles.

The compromised reader was replaced July 7.  Customers have not reported any equipment-induced misclassifications or overcharges occurring in that lane since that date.  Follow-up testing also has determined the replaced unit to be operating correctly.

In the wake of the investigation into the issue, the Commission has requested State Police to increase patrols in the area of the toll bridge to combat E-ZPass equipment strikes by poorly loaded flat-bed trailers.

Because of the irregularities of when misreads occurred and which vehicles were impacted at the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge, the Commission is urging passenger-vehicle E-ZPass customers who used the bridge between February and early July to check their past account statements for possible overcharges, but refrain from seeking individual refunds while the automatic account adjustment process takes place.  As noted above, E-ZPass adjustments for vehicle misclassifications at the Trenton-Morrisville Bridge should appear in future account statements.


MidJersey.News contacted E-Z Pass on July 13, 2022 about an overcharge on Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge E-ZPass on May 17, 2022 that was on the E-Z Pass monthly statement.

Your account has been credited $7.75. You may view the transaction on our website and on your next statement. Thank you, New Jersey E-ZPass Customer Service



East Windsor Township Unveils New Gateway Signs

August 24, 2022

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Janice S. Mironov and Council Members along with East Windsor Economic Development Committee co-chairs unveiled new gateway signs installed at major entrances to the Township.  The new modern blue and white signs, sponsored and funded by local businesses, depict the Township signature logo, the 1797 year of Township incorporation, and the Township tagline “East Windsor Community & Commerce”.  The Township thanks business sponsors Aurobindo Pharma, CentraState Medical Center, H & H Appliance, Hovione, Shiseido Americas and Working Dog Winery.  

The Township Economic Development Committee project, spearheaded by Council Member David Russell, former Economic Development Committee Chair, provides identification points for entrances to the Township and promotes local businesses.  The six locations of the new gateway signs are Route 130 North (near Conover Road), Route 130 South (near Old Cranbury Road), Princeton-Hightstown Road eastbound, Old Trenton Road north bound, Windsor Perrineville Road at Old York Road, and Route 33 West (near Twin Rivers Drive). 

Mayor Mironov stated, “East Windsor’s new gateway entrance signs are a welcomed addition to the Township, and we thank our sponsors and those individuals involved in this important project.  The branded message of ‘Community & Commerce’ appropriately describes East Windsor Township with our strong business and residential neighborhoods.”


Mayor Janice S. Mironov and Council Members join with co-chairs of the East Windsor Economic Development Committee to unveil new gateway signs to the Township. Pictured (from left to right) are:  Oren Livne, Economic Development Committee Co-Chair; Council Member John Zoller; Mayor Janice Mironov; Stephen Lach, Economic Development Committee Co-Chair, and Council Member David Russell.


Shooting Homicide in Ewing Township Under Investigation

August 24, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Ewing Police Department are investigating an overnight shooting death in Ewing Township, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Just after 1:00 a.m. on August 24, 2022, Ewing police were dispatched to an apartment on Mid Way Lane on a report of shots fired. Responding officers searched the area and located the victim, identified as Christopher MacLeod, 30, unresponsive on a grassy patch near his apartment building.  He had been shot multiple times.  MacLeod was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.

Preliminary investigation revealed that MacLeod was home when there was a knock at his door.  He responded and shots were heard moments later. Detectives located shell casings in the common walkway area between buildings.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.  Detectives do not believe this was a random shooting and evidence suggests MacLeod was the intended target. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406.  Information can also be emailed to mchtftips@mercercounty.org.


On April 22, 2022, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Christopher MacLeod, 30, of Ewing, was charged with Possession of more than 25 Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Possession of more than Five Pounds of Hashish with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Conspiracy to Possess more than 25 Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violations of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Possession of Percocet with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(5); Possession of Percocet in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Marijuana in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(3)(b); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a; Certain Person Not to Possess a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7b; Possession of a Firearm during a Controlled Dangerous Substance Offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1a; and Financial Facilitation in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25c. MacLeod is lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Christopher MacLeod, 30, of Ewing, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Photo.




Early morning Breaking News story here:


PRESS RELEASE-FOUR MERCER COUNTY RESIDENTS AND ONE OCEAN COUNTY RESIDENT CHARGED WITH NARCOTICS AND WEAPONS OFFENSES

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force collaborated with Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, United States Drug Enforcement Administration – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Group 5, United States Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Federal Bureau of Investigation – Red Bank Field Office, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Response Team, Lakehurst Borough Police Department Patrol Division, Lakehurst Borough Police Department Detective Bureau, Ewing Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ewing Township Police Department Patrol Division, Lakewood Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department K-9 Unit, Manchester Township Police Department Narcotics Enforcement Team, Elizabeth Police Department Narcotics Bureau, and Elizabeth Police Department Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Division, to conduct an investigation into the distribution of cocaine, marijuana, and pain medication laced with fentanyl in the Ocean and Mercer County areas. This cooperative, multi-agency investigation identified three residences in Ewing, one residence in Lakehurst, and a motor vehicle located in Lakewood, as being utilized by Ronald Walker, 37, of Ewing, and Christopher MacLeod, 30, also of Ewing, to store and distribute cocaine, marijuana, and pain pills laced with fentanyl.

On April 14, 2022, Detectives from the aforementioned law enforcement agencies executed court-authorized search warrants on the three subject Ewing residences, as well as the subject Lakehurst residence and vehicle located in Lakewood. As a result, Detectives seized approximately three-and-one-half ounces of cocaine, one ounce of Percocet pills laced with fentanyl, one gallon of Promethazine, 600 pounds of Marijuana, a loaded Performance Center M&P .380 Handgun, a loaded Keltec 9mm rifle with high capacity magazine, and approximately $158,000 in United States Currency. Arrested were:

Ronald Walker, 37, of Ewing, charged with Conspiracy to Possess more than 25 Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Possession of more than One Ounce but less than Five Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(11)b; Possession of more than One-Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Cocaine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Methamphetamine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Marijuana in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(3)(b); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a; and Certain Person Not to Possess a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7b. Walker is lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Christopher MacLeod, 30, of Ewing, charged with Possession of more than 25 Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Possession of more than Five Pounds of Hashish with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Conspiracy to Possess more than 25 Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violations of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Possession of Percocet with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(5); Possession of Percocet in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Marijuana in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(3)(b); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a; Certain Person Not to Possess a Weapon in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-7b; Possession of a Firearm during a Controlled Dangerous Substance Offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1a; and Financial Facilitation in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25c. MacLeod is lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Meghan Norton, 33, of Ewing, charged with Possession of More than 25 Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Possession of more than Five Pounds of Hashish with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Conspiracy to Possess more than 25 Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violations of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Possession of Percocet with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(5); Possession of Percocet in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Marijuana in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(3)(b); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a; Possession of a Firearm during a Controlled Dangerous Substance Offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1a; and Financial Facilitation in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25c. Norton was transported to the Ocean County Jail; she was subsequently released by the Court as a consequence of New Jersey Bail Reform.

Autumn Hearns, 40, of Ewing, charged with Conspiracy to Possess more than 25 Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Possession of more than One Ounce but less than Five Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(11)b; Possession of Methamphetamine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); Possession of Marijuana in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(3)(b); and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a. Hearns was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

Dana Altieri, 52, of Lakehurst, charged with Conspiracy to Possess more than 25 Pounds of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:5-2a(1) and N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(10)(a); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-2a; Possession of a Firearm during a Controlled Dangerous Substance Offense in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4.1a; Possession of a Large Capacity Firearms Magazine in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:39-3j; and Financial Facilitation in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-25c. Altieri was charged on a summons and released pending a future court appearance.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, United States Drug Enforcement Administration – HIDTA Group 5, United States Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Federal Bureau of Investigation – Red Bank Field Office, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force, Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Response Team, Lakehurst Borough Police Department Patrol Division, Lakehurst Borough Police Department Detective Bureau, Ewing Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ewing Township Police Department Patrol Division, Lakewood Township Police Department Street Crimes Unit, Lakewood Township Police Department K-9 Unit, Manchester Township Police Department Narcotics Enforcement Team, Elizabeth Police Department Narcotics Bureau, and Elizabeth Township Police Department CCTV Division, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this investigation.

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).


BREAKING: Shooting Under Investigation In Ewing Town Center

UPDATE:

August 24, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–MidJersey.news and OnScene news is at a shooting investigation in Ewing Town Center. From what we know the shooting happened around 1:00 a.m. in the Town Center Development on Midway Lane near Fisher Guide Drive.

Ewing Police, Ewing Township Fire Departments, Ewing EMS were on scene. EMS rushed the victim to the Trauma Center at Captial Health Regional Medical Center for treatment. The condition of the victim is unknown at this time.

This morning Ewing Police are on scene in Town Center.

This is a Breaking News Story please check back for further details as they become available.


See Updated MidJersey.News story here:

Victim: Christopher MacLeod, 30, of Ewing


File photos.


TRAFFIC ALERT: Avoid Route 1 In South Brunswick Due To A Serious Crash

TRAFFIC ALERT – 8:15 PM SERIOUS CRASH ON ROUTE 1 AT INDEPENDENCE WAY, CAR UNDER TRACTOR TRAILER. ROADWAY SHUT DOWN AND DIVERTED.

August 23, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Around 8:15 p.m. the South Brunswick Police Department, Fire Departments and EMS responded to Route 1 and Independence Way for reported vehicle that collided with the rear of a tractor trailer.

South Brunswick Police are advising that Route 1 will be closed in the area for the next several areas. Please seek alternate route.

TRAFFIC ALERT – 8:15 PM SERIOUS CRASH ON ROUTE 1 AT INDEPENDENCE WAY, CAR UNDER TRACTOR TRAILER. ROADWAY SHUT DOWN AND DIVERTED.



26-Year-Old In Critical Condition; Trenton Police Investigate Shooting On Stuyvesant Ave.

August 23, 2022

UPDATED with information from Trenton Police

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Four shots rang out near 1210 Stuyvesant Avenue at 6:09 p.m. as picked up on the ShotSpotter, Trenton Police responded to the scene according to Detective Lieutenant Bethesda Stokes. Upon arrival at 26-year-old male was located with a gunshot to the back.

Trenton Fire, TEMS and Captial Health Paramedics responded to the scene.

EMS worked on the patient at the scene and transported the person to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center, a trauma alert was called during transport.

Trenton Police reported that the man is in critical condition.

Trenton Police were on scene gathering evidence from the shooting. Spent shell casings could be seen on the ground. No further details are available at this time. Further details to follow.


Serious Crash Involving RV In South Brunswick; Three Injured, One Flown To Trauma Center By NJSP Helicopter

August 23, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Police reported at 1:35 p.m. South Brunswick Police Department responded to a motor vehicle crash at the intersection of Route 522 and New Road. The crash involved an RV and a sedan. The RV struck a traffic light stanchion and the sedan ended up fifteen yards off the highway into the woods. One person in the RV had to be extricated by the Monmouth Junction Fire Department.

The driver of the RV was taken by New Jersey State Police medical helicopter to the trauma center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. The two occupants of the sedan were taken by South Brunswick EMS to Penn Medicine Princeton Hospital for treatment.

Police say that all the injured are being evaluated at the two hospitals.

The Kendall Park and Kingston fire departments along with the Middlesex County Hazmat team assisted at the crash location.

The investigation into the crash remains active. Anyone with information is asked to contact South Brunswick Police Traffic Safety Bureau PFC Jason Gassman at (732) 329-4646.

The roadway was closed until 5:00 p.m. for the investigation and roadway cleanup.


Photos provided.



Apartment Fire Quickly Knocked Down In High-Rise Apartment Building

August 23, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Just before 5:00 p.m. the Trenton Fire Department was dispatched to 630 West State Street at the J. Conner French Towers for a fire on the third floor of a high-rise building. When firefighters arrived, evacuations were made, and firefighters went to the third floor where a fire was discovered in one of the apartments. Firefighters used a handline to quickly knock down the fire, bringing the fire under control within five minutes. A housing inspector, building inspector, Trenton Fire Marshal and State of New Jersey Fire Marshal were all requested to the scene. Firefighters remained on scene for about an hour evacuating smoke, and for the investigation. No further details are available at this time.



Breaking: House Fire With Burn Victim Reported In Hopewell Borough

August 23, 2022

HOPEWELL BOROUGH, NJ (MERCER)–Around 4:30 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to the first block of Heart Avenue for a well involved house fire. Upon arrival a burn victim was found on the street in front of the home and a medical helicopter was called but unable to fly due to foggy weather. Numerous surrounding fire departments and ambulance squads were called to the scene of the fire. The fire was placed under control at 5:35 a.m. No additional details are available at this time.


Foggy Accident Scene On NJ Turnpike In Robbinsville

August 23, 2022

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Township Fire Department, EMS and NJ State Troopers were dispatched to the New Jersey Turnpike north bound at mile post 63 inner roadway for an overturned vehicle at 4:22 a.m. with reports of entrapment. Upon arrival a vehicle was found on its side against the Jersey barrier along with another damaged vehicle. EMS transported two people to RWJ at Hamilton Hospital in stable condition. New Jersey State Police is investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time.

There is heavy fog in the area, slow down and use caution while driving this morning.



Charges Announced Against Trenton Police Officer Who Allegedly Hid Gang Ties, Conspired With Imprisoned Latin Kings Member

Rudy Lopez, 36, of Hamilton has been charged with official misconduct, conspiracy and tampering with public records.

Trenton, N.J. – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced charges against a Trenton police officer, alleging he falsified his job application to conceal his connections to a street gang and conspired to help an inmate plan a retaliatory assault.

Rudy Lopez, 36, of Hamilton has been charged with official misconduct, conspiracy and tampering with public records.

According to the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) in the state Attorney General’s Office, Lopez — a Trenton police officer since September 2020 — fraudulently denied on his job application that he was associating with gang members, all while regularly communicating with an imprisoned member of the Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation. Lopez is currently suspended without pay, according to the City of Trenton.

“This administration will not allow violations of the public trust, and that applies equally to law enforcement officers. As for Mr. Lopez, he is currently suspended without pay and will remain so until the adjudication of the charges against him.” — Timothy J. Carroll, Public Information Officer, City of Trenton.


“Police officers who betray their oaths erode the public’s trust in law enforcement, undermining the image of the vast majority of upstanding public servants who wear the badge and risk their lives to uphold the law,” Acting Attorney General Platkin said. “We expect our police officers to be above this kind of behavior, and those who engage in criminal conduct will be held accountable.”

“Instead of serving his community and making it safer, we allege Officer Rudy Lopez was colluding and sharing sensitive information with a convicted felon,” said OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher. “We will have no tolerance for suspected gang associates infiltrating the ranks of New Jersey’s police agencies.” 

Authorities say that prior to his suspension, Lopez had been in regular contact with a prisoner who is a gang member.

Lopez and the incarcerated individual discussed an assault as retribution against a suspected cooperating witness, who the pair believed had provided information used to put Lopez’s alleged co-conspirator behind bars.

Investigators say Lopez also offered to track down the intended target’s location, and relayed that information to the inmate with whom the officer was allegedly colluding.

The official misconduct and conspiracy charges are both second-degree and carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Tampering with public records is a third-degree crime that could trigger a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Samuel Rubinstein, Travis Miscia and Jeffrey Conrad of the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability, under the supervision of OPIA Corruption Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione. The investigation was conducted by detectives from the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability and the Special Investigations Division of the NJ Department of Corrections.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Defense Attorney:

For Lopez: John S. Furlong , Esq., of Trenton


Related MidJersey.News story here:



NJOHSP Adds Monkeypox (hMPXV) Update to Disinformation Page

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER) – The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness updated its disinformation portal web page last week to incorporate monkeypox (hMPXV) disinformation trends circulating on the internet.

According to a recent intelligence review conducted by NJOHSP’s Analysis Bureau, false information on monkeypox (hMPXV) is spreading online and sparking new confusion about the virus among the public. Misleading videos, falsely attributed information and the recycling of COVID-19 conspiracies are some of the methods causing dissent.

“As we see an attempt to sow discord in New Jersey and throughout our country through the spread of disinformation, it is critical that we communicate accurate information to the public, especially as it relates to the monkeypox virus,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “My administration remains committed to a comprehensive response that prioritizes the health and safety of our communities. I urge New Jersey residents to utilize State resources for information about symptoms, risks and availability of both testing and vaccines.”

“During the height of the pandemic, COVID-19 disinformation was running rampant, prompting NJOHSP to develop a resource web page, whereby the public could access factual information that underwent thorough examination by our Analysis Bureau,” said NJOHSP Director Laurie Doran. “With the latest monkeypox outbreak, we want to avoid a repeat of events, where incorrect information spreads quickly across communities.”

Disinformation has the potential to incite panic, create distrust between the government and people, increase polarization, influence government actions or law enforcement responses, exhaust resources and bring about undue harm. Monkeypox (hMPXV) disinformation may cause people who are infected to avoid treatment or vaccination as they may feel stigmatized, hampering efforts to help those individuals and curb the outbreak.

“Our team collected and analyzed the data in our latest disinformation intelligence note to bring awareness to current monkeypox misconceptions,” said NJOHSP Intelligence and Operations Division Director Thomas Hauck. “The report provides recent disinformation examples and official sources to help the public with identifying and vetting any truth-obscuring, manufactured information.”

Members of the public who encounter information that contains a threat or a call to action, incites potential violence or appears to have a nexus to terrorism, should immediately report it to local law enforcement or to NJOHSP by contacting 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ (1-866-472-3365) or tips@njohsp.gov.

Visit NJOHSP’s Disinformation Portal and monkeypox (hMPXV) report for more information and tips to vet content and sources.



2-Alarm Fire In Mansfield Township

August 21, 2022

MANSFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)– A two-alarm fire destroyed at residence at 11 Sheffield Drive this evening around 6:44 p.m. Witnesses from the scene told MidJersey.News that the person in the home was able to make it out on their own after an off-duty firefighter that lives in the neighborhood kicked the door in. The fire went to two alarms before being brought under control. There was an extensive list of fire departments on scene and part of the list included Mansfield, Bordentown Township, Florence, Chesterfield, Westampton.

The off-duty firefighter that kicked the door in was from Hamilton Township, Mercer County.


Henry Roldan, an off duty Hamilton Firefighter (E14), lives a couple doors down from the fire and was first to arrive. He was told someone was still inside the burning home. He kicked in the door and alerted the occupant who was able to escape uninjured. Great work Henry! — Hamilton Township Professional Firefighters



Photos and video courtesy of Greg Zanoni – WZBN-TV.




Firefighters Extinguish 2-Alarm Fire That Was Fully Involved On Arrival

August 20, 2022

MANALAPAN TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Just after 4 p.m., yesterday August 19, 2022, Manalapan, Millstone, Englishtown, Howell, Freehold Township fire departments were dispatched to a working structure fire at 13 Regency Way in Manalapan Township. Fire was though the roof on arrival and a large column of smoke could be seen for miles. The New Jersey Forrest Fire Service also sent units to the area since the Jamesburg Fire Tower was reporting a large column of smoke, additional brush units were called due to embers flying in the air and landing in brush. Additional water tankers from the Monmouth County Task Force were assigned to the fire and the fire went to 2-Alarms before being brought under control.

MidJersey.News has reached out to Manalapan Police Department for official information. The report above is based on emergency radio reports.

Further information to follow when it becomes available.



Photos sent to MidJersey.News



Rain Is Finally On The Way

The National Weather Service reported that much needed rain is finally on the way.

National Weather Service Mount Holly reports rain in the forecast from Sunday though Monday night. The Mid-Atlantic River Forecast Center map shows 1″ to 1.25″ of rain for most of our area. The US Drought Monitor reports the range in our area goes from abnormally dry to severe drought. 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.

Many agricultural crops have been heavily damaged due to the drought and may be too late to recover even with rain in the forecast.


Sunday

A chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Patchy fog before 8am. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 86. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Sunday Night

A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 11pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Monday

Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. High near 81. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Monday Night

Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before 8pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms between 8pm and 2am. Low around 68. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tuesday

A chance of showers after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Chance of precipitation is 40%.





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


Serious Crash Reported In Hamilton Township

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Police report on August,19, 2022, at approximately 10:34 p.m. Gerald Lane 52-years-old of Trenton NJ was operating his 2015 Subaru Legacy east bound on E. State Street when he lost control of his vehicle at E. State Street and Norway Avenue. Mr. Lane struck a parked vehicle on E. State Street near Norway Avenue pushing the parked vehicle into the fence of Global Painting at 1517 E. State Street. Mr. Lanes vehicle continued to travel east on E. State Street. and came to a final rest on the corner of E. State Street and Johnston Avenue. Mr. Lane was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center by Robert Wood Johnson EMS and Captial Health Paramedics for injuries sustained in the crash. Hamilton Township Fire Department also responded to the scene.

The crash is being investigated by Officers J Anaya, and K. McDonald of the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit.
Any witnesses are asked to contact the Hamilton Police Traffic Unit at (609)581-4000.


Youth Pastor Indicted for Online Sexual Exploitation of Young Males

Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw announced that a Palmyra man has been indicted on charges related to coaxing underage boys on social media to send him nude pictures and videos, then using that material to blackmail his victims into performing sexual acts on themselves for his enjoyment.

A grand jury indicted Sean Higgins, 31, on 75 total counts that included charges of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Aggravated Sexual Assault, Criminal Sexual Contact, Cyber Harassment, and Obscenity to a Minor. Thirteen of the counts were first degree charges.

Higgins is accused of committing these crimes in 2020 while serving as the youth pastor and music leader at Harbor Baptist Church in Hainesport, and serving as a teacher at the Harbor Baptist Academy, a private K-12 school that is housed in the same facility.

The indictment includes 13 victims, ranging in age from 12 to17, who resided in Alabama, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Tennessee. It was returned on August 16 and signed by Prosecutor Bradshaw. An arraignment will be scheduled soon in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

The crimes for which he was indicted did not include physical contact with the victims, and did not involve any members of the church congregation or students at the school.

He has been lodged in the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly since being taken into custody at his residence in October 2020. With the assistance of the New Jersey State Police, search warrants were executed at that time on his home as well as the church, and multiple electronic devices were seized.

The investigation revealed that Higgins would adopt the persona of a teenage girl and utilize Snapchat and Instagram to begin a conversation with a juvenile male, introducing himself as Julie Miller. After establishing a rapport, he would suggest that they trade photos. Higgins would then send pictures of an unidentified female teenager.

In return, Higgins would often receive nude photos that the victims took of themselves. Immediately upon receiving those images, he would take a screenshot of the victim’s friends list that was visible on the forward-facing social media platform. Higgins would send that screenshot back to the victim and threaten to send the nude photos he had just received to the list of the victim’s friends unless the victim did exactly what Higgins demanded.

In most of the cases that were investigated, Higgins then demanded that his victims go into the bathroom at their residence and place the phone on the floor, or at an angle looking up, and would instruct the victims to masturbate or perform sexual acts on themselves. Higgins would record what was transpiring.

According to the videos made by Higgins that were obtained during the investigation, victims would often beg Higgins to be allowed to stop engaging in sexual conduct, but Higgins would demand that they complete his instructions, or face the consequences of having the recordings he was making of the incident be sent to their list of friends.

The investigation began after a youth in Berks County, Pa., contacted Snapchat and reported that he sent nude photos of himself to someone he believed to be an unknown female. The unknown female, who in actuality was Higgins, had threatened to expose his nude photographs after they exchanged pictures. An underage male in Alabama also reported his communications with Higgins to law enforcement authorities.

The investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office High-Tech Crimes Unit, the Cinnaminson Township Police Department and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations – Cherry Hill. Multiple state and local agencies assisted in confirming the identities of additional victims once investigators became aware of their existence.

The BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit, Cinnaminson Township Police Department and HSI – Cherry Hill are members of the New Jersey State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (NJ ICAC Task Force). The BCPO also belongs to the New Jersey State Police Cyber Terrorism Task Force.

Higgins is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Eife, supervisor of the BCPO Special Victims Unit.

Anyone who believes their child has had inappropriate interaction on Snapchat or Instagram with someone going by the user name of Julie Miller, Julia Miller, or some variation of that name, is asked to call Burlington County Central Communications at 609-265-7113, or send an email to tips@co.burlington.nj.us.

An indictment is an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.

GoFundMe Set Up For 19-Year-Old Killed In Robbinsville Motorcycle Crash On I-195

Nearly 300 donors have contributed $18,000 to honor the memory of the victim, 19-year-old Mohammad Abbas of Perth Amboy, who was tragically killed when he was fatally struck by a truck while riding his motorcycle to the mosque.

Ali-Ahmed Shah, Mohammed’s friend, wrote in the GoFundMe, “Mohammad was a loving son, brother, cousin, and friend to everyone who was lucky enough to know him. He graduated a few months ago from John F. Kennedy High School in Iselin, NJ. The positive energy and vibe he brought to the classroom with his magnetic personality is something his classmates will forever cherish.”

To view the GoFundMe, please visit: https://gf.me/v/c/vnkt/in-loving-memory-of-agha-mohammad-raza-abbas


The GoFundMe Reads:

In the early evening of Sunday, August 14, 2022, 19-year-old Mohammad Abbas was on his way to the mosque on his motorcycle, until he was involved in an accident and lost his life.

Mohammad was a loving son, brother, cousin, and friend to everyone who was lucky enough to know him. He graduated a few months ago from John F. Kennedy High School in Iselin, NJ. The positive energy and vibe he brought to the classroom with his magnetic personality is something his classmates will forever cherish.

Mohammad was also an active member of his Muslim community. He would always assist with setting up and cleaning up at his local center. His presence at the center never went unnoticed, whether with his radiant smile during a happy occasion or being at the forefront of the Azadaari during sad ones. His final act was going from one majlis to another, genuinely exemplifying the dedication and love he had for serving the Ahlul Bayt (a.s).

A few friends from John F. Kennedy High School and the Astaana Youth Group have come together to start this initiative of setting up a fund in his name. The funds raised will be sent to a charity of the family’s choice.

We ask you to keep Mohammad and his loving family in your prayers. Any monetary donation you can make would be greatly appreciated. We are grateful for all the love and support.

Thank you.

Astaana Youth Group

Heather

Gianna

Michelle





Bordentown Twp. Police Ask For Help Identifying Suspect Wanted For Assault

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ (BURLINGTON)–The Bordentown Township Police is seeking the public’s assistance with identifying a suspect wanted for an assault.

On Thursday, August 11th, a white male suspect described as being in his mid-20’s with a scruffy appearance committed an alleged assault in the parking lot of the Acme Commons located on Dunns Mill Rd. in Bordentown Township. This male was operating a white Acura TL and was accompanied by a white female with blonde hair believed to be in her early 20’s.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Ptl. Hess of the BTPD at 609-298-4300, ext. 2201, or via email at ehess@bordentowntownshippd.org

Anonymous tips are welcome and will be kept confidential.



Fully Involved Tractor-Trailer Fire On NJ Turnpike At Exit 7A In Robbinsville

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Firefighters from Robbinsville, Hightstown, and Allentown-Upper Freehold Hope Fire Company battled a well involved tractor-trailer fire on the New Jersey Turnpike this morning at mile post 61.5 south bound outer lanes at the Exit 7A off ramp. Robbinsville firefighters were dispatched at 9:26 a.m. and reported seeing a column of smoke after pulling out of the firehouse on Route 130. Mutual aid was requested from Allentown for a water Tanker (tender) and Hightown Fire Company. Firefighters had the flames knocked down quickly and remained on scene for overhaul.





On Tuesday there were multiple truck accidents with fire on the New Jersey Turnpike you can read that story here:


Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights Possible In North Jersey, Upstate NY, Northern Areas Of PA


August 19, 2022 Update:

For Central Jersey the viewing the Aurora Borealis was a bust the K-Index went down to 4 and the Aurora Forecast Map showed that it stayed mostly in Canada and some northern most states such as New Hampshire, Vermont, NY, could possibly see it according to the forecast map.

The Aurora Borealis Northern Lights were a no show in Central NJ. After some enhancement of the image file some color could be seen in the area under the big dipper, but it is hard to tell if it was related to the Aurora Borealis. This image was taken August 18, 2022 at 11:54 p.m.

Image taken August 19, 2022 at 12:00 a.m. looking north towards the big dipper.


Many are predicting that the Aurora Borealis also known as the Northern Lights could possibly be seen tonight August 18, 2022 as far south as North Jersey. Unfortunately, most of New Jersey’s sky is littered with light pollution making it harder to see since you need dark sky to see the Auroa clearly. See this light pollution map from lightpolutionmap.info

Locally, if you want to see the lights head up to areas North of Lambertville with a clear sky to the north with less light pollution. If you stay in NJ to try and capture the lights, try the Delaware Water Gap area that has less light pollution.

See article from Space.com Northern lights (aurora borealis): What they are & how to see them

Keep checking the SPACE WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER and check the Aurora Forecast map and when the green is overhead there is a good chance of seeing the Aurora. Check the Estimated Planetary K-INDEX and with a K-Index of 7 for NY Catskills, North Jersey and higher for southern areas you may have a chance to see the Aurora.

The Space Weather Prediction Center shows the K-Index at four currently and was higher during the day reaching five and most likely an aurora would not be seen this far south. Yesterday the K-Index was at six and most people reported not seeing an aurora in PA or NJ.

If the Aurora Forecast Map is green overhead and the K-Index is high enough head out and see if you can see the lights. For New Jersey the past several chances have been a bust so don’t be disappointed if it does not happen for us.


Aurora Borealis – Northern Lights captured in Stowe, Vermont by Publisher Dennis Symons of MidJersey.News in early morning hours of July 23, 2022 while on vacation.

Several factors are needed to capture the lights, clear dark sky, a camera with high iso, a fast lens, a tripod and a long shutter speed of 5 to 10 seconds and a strong enough aurora. This image was captured using a Canon 5D Mark IV on a tripod with a Tamron 15-30mm 2.8f at 3.2f, iso 10,000 for 6 seconds. Try to keep your exposures less than 10 seconds for most images since the rotation of the earth the stars will blur as the shutter stays open longer. There are ways to overcome the blur using a star tracker but that is more advanced.


Shiseido Americas And East Windsor Host U.S. Senator Cory Booker With Tour Of East Windsor Facility And Town Hall With Local Employees During Summer 2022 Road Trip

Booker Concluded the 2022 Jersey Summer Road Trip yesterday and visited all 21 counties during the trip, focused on his ongoing work to serve the people of New Jersey



EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Janice S. Mironov and Shiseido Americas executives welcomed U.S. Senator Cory Booker to a tour of the East Windsor facility and a town hall with local employees.  Shiseido, celebrating its 150th Anniversary, opened in East Windsor in 1998 and is now home to the company’s North American manufacturing center and one of its Global Innovation Centers.  Senator Booker toured the East Windsor Shiseido facility, one of the Township’s premier employers, and conducted a Town Hall Question & Answer forum with a packed room of company employees, among 21 county events in New Jersey. 

            The Shiseido East Windsor 350,000 square foot facility employs over 340 workers, produces over 2,600 products, and includes manufacturing and innovation with three shifts/five days per week.   Shiseido is an environmental leader, with installation of their solar array, and LED upgrades.  Shiseido cosmetic and perfume brands include:  Shiseido Ginza Tokyo, NARS, Drunk Elephant, Cle de peau, Tory Birch, Serge Lutens, Issey Miyake, Dolce & Gabbana, and Narciso Rodriguez. 

            Mayor Mironov stated, “East Windsor is proud of the beneficial partnership we have enjoyed with the global cosmetics giant Shiseido, which is a great business model, community model and a pro-active environmental leader.  Shiseido represents for East Windsor the best of our high-tech, high-growth companies within our Einstein’s Alley corridor.  Shiseido, with a long company history of promoting and protecting our green environment, directed by the dedicated corporate leadership and staff of Shiseido Americas, has set an admirable model for businesses in our community and around the world.  We are pleased to welcome and bring together another partner in Senator Booker to learn more about Shiseido’s business operations, innovative ideas and sustainable practices and leadership.”

Founded in 1872 by Arinobu Fukuhara with its origins as a western pharmacy in Ginza, Tokyo, Shiseido is one of the oldest and largest cosmetics companies in the world. Shiseido employs 42,000 employees in 120 countries and regions, with over $7.5B in net sales.  Shiseido operates in six regions:  Americas, Europe, China, Japan, Travel Retail, and Asia-Pacific (APAC).    Their mission includes “beauty innovations for a better world”.


From visits to businesses to local farms, roundtable discussions to townhalls, press conferences to small business walks, U.S. Senator Cory Booker concluded his 2022 Jersey Summer Road Trip yesterday. Over six days, Booker visited all 21 counties in New Jersey and highlighted his efforts to secure congressionally directed spending for critical New Jersey projects and organizations, his support of local industries, and his continued commitment to serving the state’s residents.

Booker launched his tour in Stafford Township to discuss the On P.O.I.N.T. program, which provides on-site social workers for police departments to address the high volume of social service-related calls and incidents they receive. He then announced legislation that would expand the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, which promotes housing stability among very low-income veteran families, to former members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Booker hosted a listening session with New Jersey stakeholders to discuss food insecurity and hunger in New Jersey, the need to reform our nation’s food system, and the rising incidence of diet-related diseases. Booker will use the comments and feedback he received at the listening session, cohosted with New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, for the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health that he successfully secured funding for. Booker also announced over $1 million in federal grant money for Norwescap Food Bank to increase its capacity to distribute food and build a more modern facility.

To close out his road trip, Booker hosted a roundtable discussion in Cumberland County to discuss the county’s work to implement community violence intervention strategies that aim to reduce and prevent gun violence. Booker has been a proponent of such strategies; in 2019, he introduced the Break the Cycle of Violence Act, legislation that would provide federal grants to communities for gun violence intervention and prevention programs designed to interrupt cycles of violence. Research has shown that a combination of community-oriented intervention programs and commonsense gun control policies can reduce gun violence rates.

“Over the past days, I’ve had the chance to meet with advocates, elected officials, and residents of the Garden State who have graciously shared their feedback, concerns, and stories with me,” said Sen. Booker. “These conservations will stay with me and help me further advocate for our state as I return to Washington. It’s an honor to serve the people of New Jersey, and I know that together, we will address the unique challenges our state and nation faces.”


Mayor Janice S. Mironov and Shiseido Executive Team welcome U.S. Senator Cory Booker to the East Windsor Shiseido Americas facility for a tour and an employee Q&A Town Hall.  Pictured (from left to right) are:  Gail Boye, Executive Vice-President, Product Innovation & Commercialization; Ross Hammond, Vice-President, Manufacturing & Plant Manager; U.S. Senator Cory Booker; Max Bogaert, Executive Vice-President, Operations Shiseido Americas; Mayor Janice S. Mironov; and Takahiro Iwabuchi, Senior Vice-President, Regulatory & Americas Innovation Center.


Mayor Janice S. Mironov and U.S. Senator Cory Booker address a packed room of employees for a Q&A Town Hall meeting at Shiseido Americas East Windsor facility.


Mercer County Sheriff Jack Kemler Warns Of Scam

The scam used credible looking fake arrest warrants by email, claiming to be from Bucks County Sheriff’s Office.

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Sherrif Jack Kemler is reporting that a new scam is circulating across the Delaware River in nearby Bucks County. Local news services are reporting that scammers are reaching out to potential victims by sending fake arrest warrants by email, claiming to be from the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office. This scam is unique because the communications contain credible-looking warrants with the court’s seal, the judge’s name, and markings that the document comes from the Sheriff’s Office. When calling potential victims by telephone, the scammers are spoofing Judiciary or the Sheriff’s Office phone numbers and using the names of staff members to add to the appearance of credibility.

Of course, they ask for money to make it all go away with high-pressure tactics, the threat of arrest without immediate payment via pre-paid cards or online payment services like Venmo, Zelle, Paypal, etc.

“It is only a matter of time before it happens here, and I can confidently state that the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office will never call or email anyone and ask for money related to a court warrant,” said Sheriff Kemler.

“Unfortunately, it is difficult to crack down on these tech-savvy scammers because emails and calls are often generated from out-of-state or foreign locations,” noted Kemler.

“While the matter remains under investigation by our friends in Pennsylvania law enforcement, the best advice now is to exercise common sense. Do not hit reply if you suspect an email might be a scam. If it is by phone, hang up,” Kemler added.

Anyone receiving a similar email or call should report the incident to the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center at 609-989-6111.


Trenton Police Officer Charged With Domestic Violence, Threat To Kill, Criminal Coercion, And Endangering Welfare Of A Child In Lawrence Township

LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On Thursday August 4, 2022 at 3:20 p.m., the Lawrence Township Police Department became aware of a Domestic Violence incident which was originally reported to the Princeton Police Department but discovered to have happened in Lawrence Township.

Through the investigation, it was determined that on several occasions starting in March of 2022, the victim reported that she was assaulted by her boyfriend at their residence on Sturwood Way. It was later determined that the boyfriend was a City of Trenton Police Officer. He was identified as Elijah Mitchell, 28-years-old, 1,000 block of Sturwood Way, Lawrenceville, NJ. Subsequent to a thorough investigation, Mitchell was charged with 3 Counts of Domestic Violence Strangulation (2C;12-1B13), 2 Counts of Threat to Kill (2C:12-3b), 1 Count of Criminal Coercion (2C:13-5A7) and 1 Count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (2C:24-4B1). Mitchell was taken into custody on Friday August 12, 2022 without incident.

Timothy J. Carroll, Public Information Officer for The City of Trenton told MidJersey.News that Mr. Mitchell is currently suspended without pay from the Police Department as a result of the pending criminal charges against him. The City has no other comment at this time.

All arrestees are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.



Trenton Police Bust Hit-And-Run Driver That Left Man In Critical Condition At America’s Most Dangerous Intersection, Lalor and Route 129

The collision at Lalor and Route 129 leaves a 66 year old man that was pushing a baby carriage full of ice across the highway in severe critical condition.

Today August 18, 2022, Trenton Police announced that Trenton Police Detective C. Bustamante and Detective N. Martinez were able to locate the fleeing vehicle which was identified as a grey Acura TL. The discovery of the vehicle along with additional information allowed them to ascertain the identity of the driver of the suspect vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was identified as 26-year-old Trenton resident Selena Tzul-Cano. On August 17, 2022, Tzul-Cano was placed under arrest and subsequently charged with Assault by Auto N.J.S. 2C:12-1C(1), Fleeing the scene of an accident involving an injured person N.J.S. 2C:12-1.1, Endangering an injured victim N.J.S. 2C: 12-1.2A and numerous traffic summonses.


August 16, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police, Trenton Fire, TEMS and Captial Health Paramedics were dispatched to Route 129 South at Lalor Street for a pedestrian struck with entrapment due to a person pinned under a vehicle at 8:22 p.m. A few minutes after arrival of emergency personnel Trenton EMS (TEMS) and paramedics were seen racing towards the Trauma Center Captial Health Regional Medical Center. Currently the man who was struck is fighting for life in the Trauma Unit.

Trenton Police Detective Lieutenant Bethesda Stokes told MidJersey.News that a male victim 66-years-old, was walking down Lalor Street towards Lamberton Road, as he was crossing Rt 129 South pushing a baby carriage that had ice in it, he was hit by a SUV that did not stop. He was then hit by a second car and got trapped underneath the car. The victim was transported to the hospital in extreme critical condition.

Trenton Police and Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Serious Collision Team were seen on scene investigating the crash.

No further details are available a this time.


August 17, 2022 Morning Update:

There were two vehicles involved in the crash. The suspect vehicle which is unknown at this time fled the scene. The secondary vehicle’s driver remained on the scene. The victim was crossing Rt. 129 on foot when the light was green to oncoming traffic. The suspect vehicle struck the victim causing him to go air born and into the right lane. The vehicle traveling in the right lane attempted to stop but was unable to in time resulting in the second vehicle running over the victim. The victim sustained severe trauma and he is still currently listed in extremely critical condition. This investigation is ongoing.


A study of the most dangerous intersections in the United States found that State Route 129 and Lalor Street is the most dangerous Intersection In America



The driver of the vehicle was identified as 26-year-old Trenton resident Selena Tzul-Cano. On August 17, 2022, Tzul-Cano was placed under arrest and subsequently charged with Assault by Auto N.J.S. 2C:12-1C(1), Fleeing the scene of an accident involving an injured person N.J.S. 2C:12-1.1, Endangering an injured victim N.J.S. 2C: 12-1.2A and numerous traffic summonses.






Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Marks Overdose Awareness Day with Remembrance Display

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A sea of small purple flags will adorn the grass along the front entrance to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office for the rest of the month, leading up to International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, with each flag representing an individual lost due to a drug overdose in the county this year.  

“As overdose deaths rise to previously unthinkable levels, both here in Monmouth County and nationwide, it’s so vitally important to resist discouragement and continue to do absolutely everything in our power to mitigate the human toll of this epidemic,” Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey said. “A big part of that is promoting remembrance: reminding our community that each person lost is not some nameless, faceless statistic, but a dynamic individual who leaves behind hopes, dreams, and friends and family members who remain devastated by their absence.”

Acting Prosecutor Linskey was joined earlier this week by Acting First Assistant Prosecutor Michael J. Wojciechowski, Acting Chief of Detectives John G. McCabe, Jr., additional colleagues, and community partners with the Prevention Coalition of Monmouth County for a remembrance ceremony, during which the flags were put into place. As of this week, thanks to the efforts of the Coalition, similar public displays will be in place in 43 of Monmouth County’s 53 municipalities.

A total of 79 people died due to a drug overdose in Monmouth County during the first half of 2022, according to statistics compiled by the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (NJ CARES). An estimated 1,500 lives were lost in such fashion countywide from 2012 through 2021, with annual tolls rising from a low of 85 in 2013 to a high of 215 in 2018.

Those figures mirror statewide and national trends – New Jersey recorded a 10-year low of 1,223 overdose deaths in 2012, but that figure has since soared to over 3,000 in three of the last four full calendar years. Driving the trends has been the proliferation of increasingly deadly quantities of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be made quickly and cheaply, which often is found mixed with other narcotics that can exacerbate its dangerousness. Two milligrams of fentanyl, about the size and appearance of a few grains of salt, can be a fatal dose.

The Prosecutor’s Office has played a lead role in attacking the local opioid epidemic on multiple fronts; in 2014, Monmouth became just the second county in New Jersey to train all of its police officers on the use of naloxone, a nasally administered drug that works to quickly and safely reverse the effects of an overdose. Police officers in Monmouth County administered naloxone on more than 2,600 occasions from 2017 through the first quarter of 2022, with the overwhelming majority of deployments resulting in recipients going on to survive.

In 2020, with funds provided by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General NJ CARES Operation Helping Hand grant, MCPO announced the establishment of a 24/7 opioid dependency helpline, 833-OHH-CARE, which to this day remains staffed by recovery coaches from Recovery Advocates for the Shore (RAFTS) who link callers to treatment through CPC Behavioral Healthcare (CPC).

And earlier this year, MCPO hosted the first graduation ceremony for its newly established Recovery Diversion Program, an initiative that substitutes peer recovery and treatment services for nonviolent municipal court offenders, rather than traditional prosecution. Municipal defendants who successfully complete substance use treatment, maintain contact with their peer recovery coaches, and remain arrest-free are eligible to have their charges dismissed and expunged.

Monmouth County also remains an active participant in Project Medicine Drop, a New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs initiative through which citizens are invited to dispose of unwanted or expired prescription medication in safe, simple, anonymous fashion. There are currently about 30 drop boxes located countywide; for a full list of participating police departments that administer the initiative, go to https://mcponj.org/project-medicine-drop-off-locations-monmouth-county/.

“This epidemic didn’t develop from just one cause, and fixing it won’t be the result of just one solution,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “We remain deeply committed to leveraging innovation toward addressing it from every conceivable angle.”



Manalapan, NJ, Man Charged With $1Million Investment Scheme And Fraudulently Obtaining A $96K CARES Act Loan

 A Monmouth County, New Jersey, man was charged today with defrauding victims in an investment fraud scheme out of at least $1 million, and with fraudulently obtaining a loan of approximately $96,000 meant to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Anthony Mastroianni Jr., 48, of Manalapan, New Jersey, charged in a five-count complaint with wire and mail fraud. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court.

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

In 2016, Mastroianni consented to being permanently barred by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which prohibited him from acting as a broker or intermediary in securities transactions. Despite that debarment, from January 2017 to August 2022, Mastroianni defrauded victim investors, many of whom were senior citizens, by falsely and fraudulently claiming that he would generate large investment profits for them through his company, Global Business Development & Consulting Corp. Instead of investing the money as promised, Mastroianni used victim funds on personal expenses, including household rent, automobile payments, credit card bills, and cash withdrawals. Mastroianni defrauded 10 victims out of $1 million.

Mastroianni also exploited the ongoing global pandemic by submitting a false and fraudulent application to obtain $96,300 from a federal COVID-19 emergency relief loan meant for distressed small businesses. As with his investment fraud scheme, Mastroianni misused the loan proceeds to make personal purchases and cash withdrawals.

Each count of mail and wire fraud carries a maximum potential punishment of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the gross loss or gain caused by the offense.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Silane of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

22-311

Defense counsel: Emily Sherman Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark


Man Charged in Sexual Assault of Woman on D & R Canal State Park, Near Plainsboro-South Brunswick Border

PLAINSBORO, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone, Chief Fred Tavener of the Plainsboro Police Department, and Chief Raymond Hayducka of the South Brunswick Police Department announce today, that a Raritan man has been charged in connection with an attack of a female victim that occurred in the area of Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park on the border of Plainsboro and South Brunswick Townships on September 28, 2021.

An investigation determined that on September 28, 2021, between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.., an adult woman was walking on a path adjacent to the park when she was approached by an individual armed with a knife. The male dragged her into a wooded area, demanded money and forcibly sexually assaulted her. After an extensive investigation by members of law enforcement, including but not limited to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Plainsboro Police Department, South Brunswick Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, and Raritan Borough Police, the male who attacked the victim was determined to be Rogelio Calyeca Postrero, 38, of Raritan, New Jersey.

Calyeca Postrero was charged with first-degree Kidnapping, two counts of first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault, second-degree Sexual Assault, first-degree Robbery, third-degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, and fourth-degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. Calyeca Postrero is being held in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing on Friday, August 19, 2022.

On August 5, 2022, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office charged Calyeca Postrero with two counts of first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault in connection with separate attacks that occurred in Bridgewater on July 18, 2021, and Franklin Township on May 16, 2022.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Christopher Pennisi of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3600, Detective Patrick Miller of the Plainsboro Police Department at (609) 799-2333, or Detective Dominick DeLucia of the South Brunswick Police Department at (732) 329-4000. Tips may also be submitted to www.middlesextips.com .

As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Calyeca Postrero are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.



Related MidJersey.News story here:


Three Men Charged In Homicide Of Joshua Mcrae Of Trenton, NJ

August 17, 2022

This is a follow up to a story we brought you earlier in the week: 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 34-page Presentment from the Twentieth Bucks County Investigating Grand Jury that was unsealed by a judge earlier this week three Trenton area men have been charged in relation to the criminal homicide of Joshua J. Mcrae of Trenton, NJ on January 19, 2020.

In the Findings of Fact in the Presentment, on Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 1:45 a.m., Pennsylvania State Police Troopers responded to the area of I-295, mile marker 0.2, in Bristol Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania for the report of a body on the highway.

Upon arrival, responding troopers located the body on the east berm of the highway lying face down with his arms stretched over his head. The male was identified at Joshua Mcrae and pronounced deceased by responding emergency medical services prior to troopers arrival.

Pennsylvania State Police personnel secured the scene and observed what appeared to a bullet entry wound on Joshua Mcrae’s left side near his rib cage, Mcrae’s body was transported to the Bucks County Coroner’s Officer, where Dr. Ian Hood performed an autopsy in the presence of Trooper Michael Gesualdo and Trooper Christopher Cleveland. Dr. Hood ruled Mcrae was shot five times and found four entry wounds on Mcrae’s left side and one in the center of his chest, which went through his heart. Dr. Hood ruled the cause of death to be multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death to be homicide.

Pennsylvania State Police personnel interviewed witnesses and provided information placing Mcrae at Murphy’s Beef and Ale, located at 7525 Bristol Emilie Road in Levittown on January 18, 2020. Surveillance video from January 18, 2020 shows Mcrae arriving to the bar at 11:46 p.m. in a 2018 Toyota Highlander. The vehicle belonged to Mcrae’s girlfriend and Mcrae was seen using the vehicle earlier in the evening. The video shows Mcrae entering the bar though the back entrance at 11:50 p.m. accompanied by four other individuals identified as Bias Taquir Robinson, Taurien Jamar Corbin, Jerry Earl Robinson and Robert Shannon Christie.

While at Murphy’s on the evening of January 18 and into January 19, 2020, the video shows Mcrae speaking individually with Bias Robinson and Robert Christie outside of the bar. The video also shows Bias Robinson and Jerry Robinson meeting with an individual identified as Edward Seibert prior to leaving. Mcrae remains depicted on video at Murphy’s until 12:27 a.m. Surveillance video shows Bias Robinson and Jerry Robinson leaving Murphy’s parking lot in Bias Robinson’s vehicle. At approximately 12:30 a.m., Mcrae, Corbin, and Christie enter the front passenger seat, and Mcrae enters the rear passenger seat before video shows the vehicle leave Murphy’s

About 12:55 a.m., less than one hour prior to the discovery of Mcrae’s body on I-295, the Toyota Highlander with all three individuals returned to Murphy’s before leaving again. State Police recovered additional surveillance from various locations in New Jersey. The videos show the Toyota Hgihlander traveling to, and entering, Cunningham Alley across from 418 South Cook Avenue, Trenton, NJ at approximately 2:24 a.m. approximately 40 minutes after Mcrae’s body was found.

The video, which shows the Toyota Highlander on fire, also shows three individuals leave the alley on foot and walk up Cook Avenue. The Trenton Fire Department found the Highlander burned to a shell in Cunningham Alley approximately thirty minutes after the video shows the three people leaving the alley.

Based on clothing, phone records, and additional surveillance video, Sgt. Corby identified the three as Jerry Robinson, Taurien Corbin, and Robert Christie. Robinson was seen on video carrying a white plastic bag, and Corbin was seen carrying a black backpack.

Trenton surveillance video last shows Christie in the company of Jerry Robinson and Taurien Corbin at approximately 2:39 a.m. in the area of 724 Quinton Avenue, Trenton. Robinson and Corbin make their wa on foot to a Roadrunner Gas Station in Trenton where they are picked up by an Uber driver at 3:19 a.m.

Detective David Hanks of the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office Detective Bureau testified that he received cell phone data and timing advance records from cell phone providers and used the records to track the location of the cell towers used to process communications and determine the locations of the cell phones belong to Jahua Mcrae, Taurien Corbin and Robert Christie.

The records show that cell phone devices initially traveled from Trenton to Levittown on January 18, 2020. The phone data confirm the men’s devices were in the vicinity of Murphy’s from approximately 11:50 p.m. January 18, to 12:50 a.m. on January 19. The detective pointed out that the phone data was consistent with the surveillance video from Murphy’s

Cell Data Records and Timing Advance Records show Mcrae’s Verizon device traveling in the direction of I-19 and ultimately coming to a stop at 1:22 a.m. just a few feet short of where police recovered Mcrae’s body. Mcrae’s T-Mobile device was also processing data in the same area at 1:23 a.m. Corbin and Christie’s devices also processed data in that area at the same time period.

Pennsylvania State Police recovered Mcrae’s Verizon device from the scene, but his T-Mobile device was not recovered. Detective Hanks testified the Cell Data Records and Timing Advance Records show Mcrae’s T-Mobile device traveled, along with Corbin’s and Christie’s devices, from the scene of the body to Trenton. The records corroborated that these mobile devices were processing data in the same time surveillance video shows Corbin Christi, and Jerry Robinson traveling from Cunningham Alley in Trenton at approximately 2:25 a.m. on January 19, 2020.

An anonymous witness testified that that Robert Christie shot and killed Joshua Mcrae in a vehicle occupied by Christie, Mcrae, Jerry Robinson and Corbin on Interstate 95 in Bristol Township. The witness testified Christie received a handgun from Corbin and used that weapon to shoot Mcrae. The witness stated that Robert Christie removed Mcrae’s body from the vehicle and left the body on the die of the highway. Robert Christie burned the vehicle in Trenton, NJ and left the scene with Jerry Robinson and Corbin. The witness stated that Corbin and Robinson left with the handgun Christie used to shoot Mcrae and with a cellphone belonging to the victim. Jerry Robinson and Corbin disposed of the phone in Trenton and Corbin disposed of the weapon in New York according to witness testimony.

The men have testified that claiming that they are not members their selves, but others may consider them Bloods gang members or “associates” of the Blood Street Gang, Nine Trey Blood.

A man who is a patron of Murphy’s would provide security for the bar and also sell or resell cellular devise testified he received $600.00 cash from Bias Robinson in exchange for a 250 gigabyte iPhone XS Max. The exchange was in the bar’s kitchen. He told police the money seemed counterfeit in part due to strange markings on it. He became angry and threw the money and confronted Bian Robinson over his concerns of the fake money. The man said he was not affiliated with the Blood gang but believed all the men who were with Mcrae that night were affiliated with the Blood gang.

The Twentieth Bucks County Investigating Grand Jury of January 13, 2022, recommended that the District Attorney for Bucks County institute appropriate criminal charges as recommended in the Presentment on the following charges:

Robert Shannon Christie

  1. Criminal Homicide – Victim-Joshua Mcrae
  2. Criminal Conspiracy
    • Co-conspirator Taurien Corbin
    • Co-conspirator Jerry Robinson
  3. Person Not To Possess Firearm
  4. Tampering with Physical Evidence.
    • Vehicle
    • Firearms(s)
  5. Flight to Avoid Apprehension
  6. Abuse of Corpse
    • Victim-Joshua Mcrae
  7. Possession of an Instrument of a Crime
  8. Hindering Apprehension

Taurien Corbin

  1. Person Not To Possess Firearm
  2. Unlawful Transfer of Firearm
    • To Robert Christie
  3. Tampering with Physical Evidence
    • Vehicle
    • Firearm(s)
  4. Abuse of Corpse
  5. Hindering Apprehension

Jerry Earl Robinson

  1. Tampering with Physical Evidence
    • Vehicle
    • Firearm(s)
  2. Abuse of Corpse
  3. Hindering Apprehension

Related MidJersey.news story here from August 15, 2022


4-Month-Old Infant Death At Private Daycare In Ewing Township Under Investigation

August 17, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit and the Mercer County Homicide Task Force are investigating the death of Dominic Bowman Jr.  The Special Victims Unit was contacted by Ewing police on Monday, August 8, 2022, in regard to an unresponsive 4-month-old infant who was at a day care being run out of a private home on Theresa Street in Ewing.  The infant was taken to Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell, then transported to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he died as a result of his injuries a few days later.  Dominic’s injuries included skull fractures and brain bleeding.

At this time, no charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing.  The matter was also reported to the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency as well as the state Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit.


According to the Gofundme for Dominic Bowman Jr. — “DJ” Organizer of the Gofund me is The Bowman Family 

Our hearts are heavy, and we are deeply saddened as our precious Dominic Bowman Jr, affectionately known as DJ, took his place in heaven today, 8/11/2022. DJ was just shy of turning 4 months old and the only child of Diamond Thompson and Dominic Bowman Sr.

DJ was being watched by someone who was trusted with his care when hours later, he was taken to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia unresponsive. Once at the hospital, it was learned that DJ suffered severe brain injuries. DJ was hospitalized for 3 days, and he ultimately succumbed to those injuries. Our family has hired an attorney to investigate exactly what happened to DJ, and we will not stop until we get all the answers.

This is a difficult time, as the family is mourning DJ’s untimely passing. We ask those of you with compassion and love in your heart to help DJ’s parents, Diamond Thompson and Dominic Bowman Sr., with the funeral and attorney expenses. We would like to raise $8000 for his final farewell. However, no amount is too small, and we are grateful for any donation.

Payments and donations will go to Family Funeral Home for DJ’s burial/arrangements. Any money remaining will be used to establish DJ’s Law and/or legal fees.