Day: October 14, 2022

Several Injured In Ewing Township Crash

October 14, 2022

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER) – Several people, including a young child, were injured in a collision between a pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle that occurred along North Olden Avenue this evening (Friday, Oct. 14). Ewing Township police, EMS personnel and firefighters, along with Capital Health System paramedics, were alerted to the crash in front of the Wendy’s restaurant in the 1700 block of North Olden Avenue just minutes before 9 p.m. When emergency crews arrived on scene they found at least three adults trapped in the wreckage of the two vehicles. A child was also inside one of the autos. According to initial radio reports, it appeared that the child – described as an infant – had not been riding in an approved child car seat and, as a result, was unrestrained when the crash occurred. Additional ambulances from Trenton and Lawrence and more paramedics were called in to care for the injured. Ewing firefighters used hydraulic rescue tools to cut apart the vehicles to free the trapped victims. Once extricated from the wreckage, the victims was rushed to the regional trauma center in Trenton. North Olden Avenue was closed between Prospect Street and Parkside Avenue as a result of the crash. At the time of this report, Ewing Township police were still investigating the circumstances of the accident and no additional details were available.  

Police Respond To Schools Around The State On Multiple Swatting Incidents This Morning

October 14, 2022

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township Police quickly responded to Hamilton High School West this morning on an apparent “swatting” incident. The school was quickly placed on lockdown as police checked the school to make sure everyone was safe.

New Jersey State Police reported, “The New Jersey State Police has been made aware of numerous active shooter threats targeting various school districts throughout the state.

Several schools have been placed on lockdown and after thorough investigations by local, state, and county authorities, the threats have proven to be unfounded.

The Regional Operations Intelligence Center is currently monitoring the situation and has not deemed any of the threats as credible.

The State Police and our law enforcement partners take all threats seriously and will utilize every asset at our disposal to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, administrators, and the public.

We urge everyone to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency.”

Hamilton Police say that on October 14 2022 at 10:02 a.m. Hamilton Police Dispatch received a telephone call from a person with a thick Middle Eastern or Indian accent stating “there are people trying to get into the door of Hamilton West”.  The School Resource Officer along with several responding police units searched Hamilton High School West after initiating a “Lock Down” of Hamilton High School West.  After the incident was deemed safe, the “Lockdown” was lifted.

Hamilton Police gained information that other municipalities were affected by the same type of call with a party having a similar accent.  Hamilton Police along with the Hamilton Twp. Board of Education determined the phone calls were hoax calls.

No injuries were reported during the incident, no suspicious parties were located in or around Hamilton High School West.  Police Units remained on scene until the situation was calm.

Swatting is defined as: “The action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to bring about the dispatch of a large number of armed police officers to a particular address.”

In a letter to parents from Hamilton Township Schools Superintendent Scott R. Rocco, Ed.D. stated:

Today, there were two calls made to 911 that indicated an incident was happening at Hamilton High School West. This resulted in a large police presence inside and outside of the school. It also resulted in the school being put into a shelter in place for one of the calls and a lock down for the other call. 

Neither of these calls were real. They have been deemed a hoax. Neither of these calls were generated inside of our school. At no time were any of our students or staff in any danger. Although that is a relief, it does not lessen the fear or scared feelings of our students and staff.

I have been informed that this same situation has happened to other schools in New Jersey today. 

I would like to thank the faculty and staff of Hamilton High School West for their efforts in ensuring our students’ safety and I would like to thank our Hamilton Township Police Department for their quick response and constant presence.  

We take school safety very seriously in our district. We have safety plans and we practice those plans. Our police department also works collaboratively with us in our planning, drills, and situations that arise in our district. That being said, our best safety measures are when our students, staff, and community say something if they see, hear or know of a problem. Please continue to do so.

Toms River Police said in a Facebook Post, “A short time ago Toms River Police dispatch received a phone call regarding a potential shooting at High School North. Officers responded and the school was locked down as a precaution. The call was deemed unfounded and is being investigated as a swatting incident. We are requesting no one respond to the school as there is no active threat.”

Monmouth County Sherriff’s Office reported, ** POLICE ACTIVITY ** Freehold Twp- Biotechnology High School & Monmouth County Career Center – Kozloski Road Freehold Twp – there is no threat or danger to students.

Jackson Township Police reported, “About an hour ago Jackson Police dispatch received a phone call regarding a potential shooting at Jackson Liberty High School. We had already received information via the FBI that a handful of schools within New Jersey were experiencing the same calls from the same suspect prior to this phone call.

Regardless school security and our School Resource Officer sought out the location given by the caller, and it was deemed not to be a threat as the location given by the caller was inaccurate. Due to the totality of the circumstances, the decision was made not to put the school in lockdown. The call was deemed unfounded and is being investigated as a swatting incident. We are requesting no one respond to the school as there is no active threat.”

Barnegat Police Department made several reports on Facebook, “We received an unfounded report of a “shooter” in the Barnegat High School. Officers were quickly on scene and in the building and have found no indications or reports of anything occurring. Bengal Blvd will be closed as we continue to ensure the security of the building. All other district schools were placed in shelter in place status as a precautionary measure. Parents who are responding to the area are asked to go to the Collins school where we will provide any additional information. It appears that at least one other district in the county has received a similar “report”. Again, we have significant resources on scene to ensure the safety of the kids and staff at BHS and there are no indications that anything has occurred. Updates to follow. –Chief”

The students from BHS are being evacuated and will be bussed to the Collins school for reunification with parents. While we believe this was a swatting incident, officers continue to follow-up with secondary searches of the building. Again, the students and staff are safe and we have significant resources on scene to ensure it stays that way. –Chief

BHS evacuation is complete. Officers have completed the secondary search of the first floor and are wrapping up the second floor. Once that’s done, we’ll open up Bengal Blvd. The school district will then bus any driving-age BHS kids from the Collins school reunification point back to get their cars if needed. Very much appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation.– Chief

Freehold Township Police Reported, “At 10:13am, the Freehold Township Police Department responded to the Biotech High School for a possible report of shots fired. This incident was deemed to be a hoax and is currently under investigation. As part of the response both the Biotech High School and neighboring Career Center were locked down and both buildings were cleared by officers from Freehold Township, Freehold Borough, and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office. All students and staff are safe. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective George J. Baumann at 732-252-1950.”

Message from East Brunswick Schools Superintendent Dr. Valeski:

October 14, 2022

Good Morning East Brunswick Community,

This is Victor Valeski, Superintendent of Schools, with a very important message regarding an incident at our high school this morning…and I want to assure everyone that every student and every staff member is safe.

Our 911 police dispatch operator received a phone call reporting an incident occurring at our high school that required immediate police assistance.  This warranted a large police response to the high school and the building was immediately placed in a “Shelter in Place” status.  Central Elementary School also exercised a “Shelter in Place” because of it’s close proximity to the high school. 

Members of our district Central Office leadership responded to the building to support the HS administration.

Ultimately, the call was determined to be a hoax, also known as SWATTING, but the continuous training with our students, staff, administrators, security team and EBPD was evident today.

Lower Township Police in Cape May County reported, “Lower Cape May Regional High School is in a shelter in place for what we believe is a HOAX. Law Enforcement is conducting a search of the school to confirm.”

Other towns with swatting incidents this morning were Newark at Weequhaic High School and another Paterson.

The scene this morning at Hamilton High School West in Mercer County, NJ

8-Year Prison Sentence for Trenton Man Convicted In 2021 Oakland Street Shooting

October 14, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) – Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced an eight-year prison sentence for a Trenton man convicted of aggravated assault in a shooting last year.

Kevion Watkins, 19, of Mellon Street must serve 85% of his eight-year term – nearly seven years – under the sentence handed down by Superior Court Judge Robert Lytle in Mercer County on October 7, 2022.

Watkins pleaded guilty to second-degree aggravated assault for firing two bullets into a moving vehicle, striking one of the occupants in the hand following a physical altercation inside a Trenton deli on October 2, 2021.

“Firing a weapon at a moving vehicle in a public street is unacceptable and egregious,” said Attorney General Platkin. “We will continue to aggressively prosecute individuals who disregard public safety, as we work to reduce the gun violence threatening communities across New Jersey.”

Watkins was arrested on October 2, 2021, by Trenton Police who responded to a ShotSpotter alert of ­two rounds fired on Oakland Street shortly before 10 a.m. He was taken into custody after he attempted to exit an Oakland Street apartment building where he fled after the shooting. Police recovered the weapon – a silver and black 9mm Ruger with a defaced serial number – under a floor mat in a common area of the building. 

The gun was later linked by ballistic testing to at least one prior shooting – a May 1, 2020 incident in which five members of the violent Get Money Boys or “GMB” street gang allegedly opened fire on a group of individuals on Sanhican Drive in Trenton, wounding two men. The suspects charged in that shooting are among 20 alleged members and associates of GMB who were indicted last year in connection with multiple shootings in Trenton that also include the December 2019 murder of a 32-year-old man; the attempted murder of a Trenton police officer in February 2020; and a June 2020 shooting that wounded several bystanders, including a 12-year-old girl who was critically injured. Watkins, who turned 18 years old in August 2020, is not a defendant in that case.

“Our work with local and county law enforcement in this case not only took a dangerous individual off the street, it cut off access to a community gun already linked to at least one prior violent crime,” said Director Pearl Minato of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to collaborate and share intelligence with law enforcement agencies to reduce gun crimes in New Jersey and protect our residents from the threat of gun violence.”

In pleading guilty, Watkins admitted to firing the gun recovered by police in the direction of two individuals who were in a car, intending to cause them serious bodily harm. A surveillance camera inside the deli captured footage of the two victims involved in a physical altercation with a group of people inside the store, and then showed the pair exiting the store and getting into a blue 2017 Chevy Impala. Subsequent footage from the camera showed an individual, later identified as Watkins, running down the street while displaying a firearm and then firing two rounds into the victims’ car as it passed by him. One of the bullets struck the driver in the hand.

The other occupant was not injured.

On December 8, 2021, a state grand jury indicted Watkins on two counts of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree aggravated assault, and numerous weapons charges including second-degree possession, receipt, or transfer of a community gun while engaging in criminal activity. A community gun is defined by statute as a firearm that is transferred among, between, or within any association of two or more

persons who, while possessing that firearm, engage in criminal activity or use it unlawfully against the person or property of another.

Deputy Attorney General Karen M. Bornstein handled the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Cassandra Montalto and Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis. The case was investigated by the Trenton Police Department and the Mercer County Shooting Response Team, with assistance from the New Jersey State Police Gangs & Organized Crime South Unit. 

—> Oakland Street, 10:00 a.m. Police responded to reports of a female gunshot victim treated at Capital Health. Following witness descriptions and finding the weapon, police apprehended male suspect Kevion Watkins, age 19, who is currently in custody.

Mercer County Homicide Task Force Investigation Leads to Arrest in May Shooting Homicide

October 14, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A Trenton man has been charged with the May 2022 murder of Ali Abdullah, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

Kahiree Peterson, 23, is charged with murder, attempted murder and weapons offenses. He was served his complaints this week at the Mercer County Correction Center where he is being held on unrelated charges. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to detain Peterson pending trial.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force and the Trenton Police Department. At approximately 1 a.m. on May 22, 2022, Trenton police received three Shot Spotter activations for multiple locations in the 100 block of West Hanover Street. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male lying on the sidewalk suffering a gunshot wound. He was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center and pronounced dead a short time later. The victim was identified as Ali Abdullah, 25, of Trenton.

While officers were on scene, a second shooting victim arrived at Capital Health Regional Medical Center by private vehicle. The 30-year-old male suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder area.

The majority of the scene was located on the side of 142 West Hanover Street in the State of New Jersey parking lot. Numerous shell casings were located on the sidewalk next to the location. Two vehicles were parked in the lot, and one had been struck numerous times.

During the course of the investigation, a ballistics alert linked the shell casings from the murder with a shooting that occurred on May 19, 2022 on Tioga Street in Trenton. The Shooting Response Team executed a search warrant at Peterson’s residence and recovered a .45 caliber Kimber handgun and ammunition that matched evidence collected during the homicide investigation.

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

Kahiree Peterson, 23, is charged with murder, attempted murder and weapons offenses.

File photos from 100 block of West Hanover Street by Brian McCarthy

Names of the 2022 homicide victims in the City of Trenton:

  1. 2/15/2022 Antwone Barnes, 37, of Trenton, Stabbing
  2. 2/23/2022 Leonardo Fernandez, 32, of Trenton, Stabbing
  3. 3/01/2022 Shimon Nesmith Jr., 19, of Trenton, Shooting
  4. 3/03/2022 Helen Nelson, 73, of Trenton, Physical Assault
  5. 3/15/2022 Albert L. Barnes, 46, of Trenton, Shooting
  6. 3/25/2022 Sequoya Bacon-Jones, 9, of Trenton, Shooting
  7. 3/31/2022 Tahaad Goss, 16, of Trenton, Shooting
  8. 4/07/2022 Jaquir Queen, 26, of Willingboro, Shooting
  9. 4/09/2022 Leroy Davis, 31, of Trenton, Shooting
  10. 5/01/2022 Jamir McNeil, 25 of Trenton, Shooting
  11. 5/22/2022 Ali Abdullah, 25, of Trenton, Shooting
  12. 6/01/2022 Dreiby Osorio, 16, of Trenton, Stabbing
  13. 9/02/2022 Rasheed Barlow, 35, of Trenton, Shooting
  14. 9/11/2022 Chron Jenks, 34, of Ewing, Shooting
  15. 9/20/2022 Keenan Anthony Trower, 31, of Hamilton Shooting
  16. 10/09/2022 Daquan Brown, 33, of Trenton, Shooting
  17. 10/10/2022 Daveigh Brooks, 25, of Ewing

Pending determination:

18. ** Cause of “Suspicious death” for Corrine Daniels, 41, of Park Avenue in Trenton has not been released yet from MCPO ** Once official determination is made the list will be updated.

Capital Health Paramedic Unit Involved In Crash In Trenton

October 14, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Officials say that around 6:45 a.m. a Capital Health Medic unit was involved in an accident at Prospect Street and Bellevue Avenue with entrapment. The paramedic was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center as a Trauma Alert. Trenton Fire Department responded to the scene for extrication, TEMS and additional paramedics were called to the scene to treat the injured. Trenton Police are investigating the crash. No further details are available at this time.