Day: November 21, 2022

Trenton Police Arrest Man For Criminal Attempt Homicide And Weapons Offenses

November 21, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) Trenton Police say that on Thursday, October 27, 2022, at approximately 7:43 p.m., Police responded to the area of 351 Centre Street on a report of shots fired. A victim was found with a gunshot wound about his left leg area and taken to the hospital for treatment. Detectives from the Mercer County Shooting Response Team (SRT) arrived on scene and took charge of the investigation. After weeks of combing through evidence and extensive investigative work, Detectives were able to identify the suspect Steven Harper 37 of Trenton. On Thursday, November 17, 2022, in the early morning hours, SRT Detectives and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Unit conducted a Fugitive Operation in the area of the Centre Street. Detectives successfully executed an arrest warrant and placed Steven S. Harper under arrest for Criminal Attempt Homicide and related weapons offenses.

For Any Further Information Please Contact: Detective Lieutenant Nathan B. Bolognini, Special Operations Bureau – Violent Crimes Unit Executive Officer / Public Information Officer 609-989-4055

NJ State Senate Confirms Raymond S. Santiago As Monmouth County Prosecutor

November 21, 2022

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH) – The New Jersey State Senate interviewed Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago today, and thereafter unanimously voted to confirm his nomination by Governor Phil Murphy to assume the role in full capacity for a five-year term.

Santiago will become the 30th fully confirmed County Prosecutor to serve Monmouth County since the first took office nearly 200 years ago, in 1823.

“Today’s confirmation is as much a collective achievement as a personal one – and I cannot thank enough the innumerable individuals who steadfastly supported the fulfillment of a dream I have nurtured for the better part of my career,” he said. “I assume this role with a genuine sense of deep awe and respect, both for the long and storied history of this Office, and for the dedication and tenacity exhibited by the several hundred individuals who every day continue to support its overarching goal of serving the interests of justice.”

A swearing-in ceremony for the start of Santiago’s full term will be forthcoming.

On October 7, 2022, Santiago, 48, assumed the responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County’s largest law firm. He is also responsible for the coordination of the law-enforcement efforts of nearly four dozen municipal police departments and two college police departments, which collectively patrol jurisdictions of approximately 650,000 residents.  

Raymond S. Santiago was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 1996 and received his law degree from the City University of New York School of Law at Queens College. In 1999, he was sworn in as an Assistant District Attorney at the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, and upon leaving that office, he entered private practice. He is admitted to the bar associations in New Jersey, New York, the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, and the U.S. District Courts of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Santiago most recently headed the Law Offices of Santiago & Associates, P.C., based in Freehold, a law firm that focused on the litigation of criminal and immigration law. He has also served as a public defender for municipalities in Monmouth County and as a Pool Attorney for the State of New Jersey Public Defender’s Office, Monmouth Vicinage, since 2002, where he has assisted indigent defendants faced with various crimes or offenses.

Santiago has lived and worked in Monmouth County for over 20 years.

Santiago is only the second Prosecutor of Hispanic descent in the history of the Office, following Luis A. Valentin, who served from 2005 to 2011. He succeeds Lori Linskey, who served as Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor since June 2021.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago

The Arc Mercer Celebrates Achievements With Gala Event At The Stone Terrace In Hamilton

November 21, 2022

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Arc Mercer, Mercer County’s premier agency providing resources for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over seventy years, held its annual gala on Friday, November 18th at 5:30 p.m., at The Stone Terrace in Hamilton.

Every fall at the annual gala The Arc Mercer seeks to raise awareness and support for the mission and to show appreciation for those who work on the front lines every day.

The Arc Mercer honored three Mercer County Mayors with the Mayoral Champion Award during the event.  Mayors Jeff Martin of HamiltonBert Steinmann of Ewing, and Reed Gusciora of Trenton were recognized for their enduring partnership and support of The Arc Mercer and its programs throughout the county. 

Mayors Steinmann and Gusciora are long-serving members of Arc Mercer’s board of Directors.  Through contributions by their administrations and the mayors themselves, the three have helped The Arc Mercer to expand their community-based homes, offer employment to hundreds of individuals, and provide cultural and recreational experiences to the special needs community.  Twelve of Arc Mercer’s nineteen homes are located within these communities.

Annual awards presented during the gala include: The Employee of the Year – John Strycharz, The Rising Star of the Year – Andrew Kesten, and The Dawn Carmosino Team Impact Award winner – Diana Parker.  These three individuals have gone above and beyond expectations, and were selected from over 250 nominations submitted during the year by Arc Mercer employees.

“The Gala is our chance to publicly recognize those who support our mission and exemplify why Arc Mercer is the premier agency serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Executive Director Steve Cook.  “This year, we are excited to announce that all proceeds raised in connection with this event will go towards LiberiArc, our project to open the first international chapter of The Arc of the US in Liberia.”

This year’s record-breaking fundraiser, which was simulcast to a sister-gala in Liberia, brought in over $200,000 which Mr. Cook has pledged to invest in the research, infrastructure, and staffing of The Arc’s most ambitious project to date.  Announced to much fanfare in July of this year, “LiberiArc will bring our standard of excellence to the special needs population in Liberia” according to Mr. Cook.

The Arc Mercer is a non-profit organization that has provided support and services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Greater Mercer County region for more than seven decades. The Arc Mercer provides over 1,000 individuals with special needs, access to their community, specialized pre-vocational training, readily available job opportunities, specialized medical care, friendships and oftentimes, love. 

To learn more, or to support The Arc Mercer, visit

Driver Under The Influence Crashes Into Toms River Home

November 21, 2022

TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Toms River Police reported that on Monday, November 20, 2022, at approximately 11:35 p.m., police and fire units were dispatched to Frann Road for a reported motor vehicle accident involving a vehicle into a house. The initial investigation revealed that Kevin E. Cannon, 24 of Toms River, was traveling north on Frann Road when he drove off the roadway and through the front door of a residence, ultimately coming to rest in the living room. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

Multiple fire companies responded, along with Freedom Towing, to remove the vehicle from the residence. The Building Department also responded and deemed the home unsafe. Mr. Cannon was issued citations for driving under the influence, reckless driving, and failure to maintain lane. His vehicle was impounded as per John’s Law. The homeowners were home at the time of the incident, but were not injured. The incident remains under investigation by Officer Nicholas Lugo.

New Jersey LGBTQ+ Leaders Comment on Club Q Shooting

November 21, 2022

ASBURY PARK, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On Saturday night, at least five people were killed and at least 25 injured at a mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub, in Colorado Springs. The shooting came the night before Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance dedicated to honoring the memories of people who were killed due to anti-transgender violence in the previous year.

The Governor and Attorney General held a conference call with LGBTQ+ leaders this morning providing clear communication on the state’s response. They emphasized that there are no similar active threats in New Jersey based on their intelligence but will provide law enforcement resources to be extremely vigilant. They confirmed law enforcement resources were deployed yesterday to Transgender Day of Remembrance events throughout the state and LGBTQ+ bars and nightclubs. The Governor ended his remarks by affirming that “New Jersey will continue to celebrate and protect the LGBTQ community and we will never ever ever relent.”

LGBTQ+ leaders from across the state of New Jersey shared their reactions and calls to action in response to this act of violence.

“It is time for us to get past the sad and shocking emojis and telling the LGBTQI+ community how horrific these hate crimes are and they’re with us,” said Jeannine Frisby LaRue, Garden State Equality Action Fund Board Chair. “It is way overdue for everyone who believes in civil rights and social justice to call out this despicable acts from their pulpits, boardrooms, social media platforms and the like. These heinous acts are not LGBTQI+ issues; they’re humanitarian issues. We need everyone to step up.”

“We are heartbroken to learn of another senseless attack against our community—on the eve of a day we remember all those in our trans community who have lost their lives to violence, no less,” said Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality. “It is a stark reminder that despite the progress the LGBTQ+ community has made, the threat of discrimination and violence against us just for being who we are is still very real. Garden State Equality will continue to work towards a world where people can live authentically without fear.”

“We at Out Montclair are disgusted and sad to hear about yet another attack on an LGBTQ+ establishment, where innocent lives have been lost,” said Peter Yacobellis of Out Montclair. “Because we believe that being ourselves and being heard is the only way we’ll ever truly be understood, we’ll never stop gathering and finding the community we desperately need. Thank you to all of our allies for supporting us.”

“Like everyone, we at Hudson Pride Center are devastated to learn about the horrific attack that has taken place at Club Q,” said Elizabeth Schedl, Executive Director of Hudson Pride Center. “We deserve to feel safe, we deserve to feel loved, we deserve to feel accepted, and we deserve to live our lives fully without fear of being attacked for being our authentic selves. Hudson Pride stands with and mourns together with our LGBTQ+ community and all those affected by this tragedy.”

“Hyacinth is devastated by the loss of lives in Colorado Springs last evening, particularly as the LGBTQ communities come together today for our annual Transgender Day of Remembrance,” said Kathy Ahearn-O’Brien, Executive Director of Hyacinth AIDS Foundation. “Today is a day of mourning and we hold in our hearts all those affected by this tragedy. We cannot allow hate to win; we will continue to fight for our right to live our lives openly, honestly and safely.”

“We at the LGBT RAIN Foundation send our prayers and support to the LGBTQ community, the families of the hurt and massacred at Club Q,” said Elaine Helms, Founder & Executive Director of the LGBT RAIN Foundation. “May God bless the State of Colorado.”

“We at GAAMC are shocked and devastated by the vicious attack in Colorado Springs,” said Gordon Sauer, President of GAAMC. “Our hearts go out to those who were affected by this hideous violence. As LGBTQ + people we have a right to be who we are and  to not live in fear. And we will fight for that right with all our hearts. Hate will not win.”

“The Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice condemns this act of hate and violence directed towards our LGBTQ+ community members and our precious and increasingly endangered safe spaces,” said Alia Shinbrough, Minister for Queer Liberation at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice. “As intersectional social justice workers we hold responsible anyone capitalizing on this politics of hatred and stoking political violence in our collective public life— including those who scapegoat and target our neighbors over differences in race, religion, sexuality, and gender to propel their own ambitions. Tragedies like these remind us of the vitality of our Center’s work for collective liberation—we extend our solidarity and uplift our care to all those in our beautifully diverse communities who are in need of recognition, respect, and indeed love—in this difficult moment and beyond.”

“As we increase our visibility & representation and deepen our equality, the assaults against our very existence intensify centered on our trangender and non-binary community,” said Dean Dafis, Mayor of Maplewood, NJ. “The LGBTQ mass casualties in Colorado Springs were caused by unfettered access to guns and by hate stoked by right wing white supremacists who remain our nation’s greatest threat. While we mourn our losses yet again on this Transgender Day of Remembrance, we stand up against gun violence and transphobia and commit to fighting back with resilience, love, and faith in building empathy and acceptance. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families.”

“We at HiTOPS are brokenhearted, both for the victims of these crimes, and for the youth who witness this deadly violence against LGBTQ+ folks with shocking regularity,” said Lisa Shelby, Executive Director of HiTOPS. “We call upon elected representatives at every level to denounce the hate that underlies these horrific actions.”

“NJ AIDS WALK, Inc. stands with our sisters and brothers in Colorado, said Ray Welsh, President of NJ AIDS WALK, Inc. “Acts of violence can only win if we stop loving one another, everyone, even in our own communities.”

South Brunswick Police Stop An Unconscious Intoxicated Driver On Route 522 And Prevent Tragedy

November 21, 2022

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–On Saturday November 19, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. South Brunswick Police Officers Justin Samuels, Gagan Chopra, Christine Harris and Sgt. William Merkler were able to chase down an unconscious driver in a moving vehicle and able to get it stopped preventing a tragedy. The vehicle traveled Route 522 for approximately a half mile before officers got it stopped. Officers were able to block the vehicle in, smashed the side window, an get the driver out from behind the wheel. The driver, a 28-year-old from Scranton, PA, was found to be intoxicated and was arrested.

Video below:

Monmouth County Man Charged With Promoting Prostitution Of A Child, Endangering Welfare Of Child, Hindering Apprehension, Narcotics Offences, Criminal Sexual Contact And Obstruction

November 21, 2022

TINTON FALLS, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A local man has been arrested and charged with promoting the prostitution of a teenager at a Tinton Falls motel, along with numerous additional crimes, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Monday.

Jerome L. Harbour, 41, is charged with first-degree Promoting Prostitution of a Child, third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child via Sexual Conduct, third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child via Non-Sexual Conduct, third-degree Hindering Apprehension, four third-degree narcotics offenses, fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact, and fourth-degree Obstruction of Justice.

On Wednesday, November 16, members of the Tinton Falls Police Department received information that a 17-year-old female may be in crisis somewhere in the area of Eatontown or Tinton Falls. A subsequent search of the area led officers to a motel near the interchange of Route 18, Route 36, and the Garden State Parkway. When officers knocked on the door of the room where Harbour was staying, he denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of the teen in question, but moments later she was found hidden in his room.

The victim was then taken to safety, and a subsequent investigation involving members of the MCPO Special Victims Bureau and the Tinton Falls Police Department uncovered evidence leading to the aforementioned criminal charges, including information that Harbour had discarded the victim’s cell phone in a neighboring town. In addition, a search of Harbour’s room uncovered quantities of suspected cocaine, oxycodone, and two types of prescription tranquilizers.

Harbour was subsequently transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) to await a first appearance and detention hearing in Monmouth County Superior Court.

This case is being prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Ashley Behre. Information about Harbour’s legal representation was not immediately available.

A recent photo of Harbour is being released along with this press release. Anyone with information about this matter or Harbour’s recent activities is urged to contact MCPO Detective Kayla Santiago at 800-533-7443 or Tinton Falls Police Department Detective Sergeant Daniel Osofsky at 732-542-4422.

Anyone who feels the need to remain anonymous but has information about this or any crime can submit a tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential telephone tip-line at 1-800-671-4400; by downloading and using the free P3 Tips mobile app (available on iOS and Android –, by calling 800-671-4400, or by going to the website at

Convictions on first-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by up to 20 years in state prison.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

Jerome L. Harbour, 41, is charged with first-degree Promoting Prostitution of a Child, third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child via Sexual Conduct, third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child via Non-Sexual Conduct, third-degree Hindering Apprehension, four third-degree narcotics offenses, fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact, and fourth-degree Obstruction of Justice.

Trenton Firefighters Extinguish 2-Alarm Blaze On Tremont Street

November 21, 2022

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–With the temperature hovering at a frigid 21 degrees, city firefighters battled a two-alarm blaze involving a pair of abandoned homes on Tremont Street early this morning (Monday, Nov. 21). Firefighters, alerted to the blaze at 2:55 a.m., arrived to find the two structures – 95 and 97 Tremont, located between Beatty and Jersey streets – already fully engulfed in flames. Both homes had been badly damaged by a previous fire and it was obvious to firefighters that a collapse of the blazing structures was imminent. Firefighters set up a defensive operation using Engine 3’s deck gun and several 2.5-inch hoselines and worked to protect neighboring buildings. Radiant heat from the fire was so intense that it melted the siding of a home across the street. Several partial collapses occurred until, eventually, both homes were reduced to a smoldering heap of debris. The fire was declared under control at 3:39 a.m. The cause of the blaze was under investigation by fire and police officials.   

Google Maps Image of 97 Tremont St, Trenton, NJ 08611 prior to this morning’s fire showing prior fire damage.