NEPTUNE, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Around 2:30 a.m., Neptune City received a call for structure fire at 401 W Sylvania Ave, Neptune City, NJ. at the Brighton Arms Apartments. When firefighters arrived, the first due engine reported heavy fire from apartment 3A on floors 1 & 2. It was quickly upgraded to a working fire assignment and transmitted a full first alarm. Neptune City crews were first due and worked aggressively on the fire and also were able to rescue one victim with minor injuries. The fire quickly spread due to wind and fire conditions throughout the building.
The fire was quickly upgraded to a 2-Alarms sending additional resources from surrounding communities to the scene.. Asbury Park Fire Department Tower 83-89 set up aerial operations along with Wall Township 52-2-90. Avon by the Sea Ladder 86-1-90 was on the front left side of building. Belmar Hook & Ladder 87-1-90 also responded to the scene. Multiple hand lines were stretched and placed in operation. Two Master Streams were also used to darken the flames. Fire crews operated for around 3 hours this morning.
The Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the fire. There were no reports of the cause of the fire at this time.
Earlier this morning, the Neptune City Fire Department responded to a structure fire in the Brighton Arms apartment complex. Upon arrival of the fire department, firefighters were met with heavy fire conditions in multiple apartments. Off duty FF Franklin Doremus were among those firefighters on scene. As the firefighters started to extinguish the fire, a victim was seen from a first floor apartment window. Without hesitation FF Doremus entered the apartment in zero visibility to search for the victim. Upon finding the victim, FF Doremus pulled them to safety out of the apartment. Once outside the apartment, Wanamassa Fire Company Chief Nick Dowling assisted with getting the victim to EMS to be transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. The members of the Neptune Uniformed Firefighters Local 2691 are extremely proud of FF Doremus for his actions, resulting in the victim surviving.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER) — A state grand jury has voted not to file any criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of Stephen Dolceamore, 29, of Springfield, P.A., who died in the custody of the Trenton Police Department on April 3, 2020.
The death in custody was investigated by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and presented to New Jersey residents serving on the grand jury in accordance with the Independent Prosecutor Directive issued in 2019. In July 2021, OPIA issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure these grand jury presentations are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, with appropriate transparency regarding the process, consistent with the Independent Prosecutor Directive.
The investigation of this death in custody included interviews of witnesses, review of video and autopsy results from the medical examiner. After hearing testimony and evidence from the investigation, the grand jury concluded its deliberations on December 5, 2022, and voted “no bill,” meaning the grand jury concluded no criminal charges should be filed against the officers involved in this death in custody.
According to the investigation, on April 3, 2020, at approximately 11:45 a.m., Trenton police officers responded to a report of a man behaving erratically and walking into traffic near St. Francis Medical Center. Officers located the subject, later identified as Mr. Dolceamore, who tried to run. Officers pursued Dolceamore on foot, who kept running from the officers inside the parking lot yelling, “help,” and claiming that people were after him. Officers deployed OC spray with no effect. Dolceamore continued to run and fell to the ground. As Dolceamore was on hands and knees and, prior to being restrained by officers, he continued to yell, “Help” and “I can’t breathe.”
Officers pursued Mr. Dolceamore and brought him to the ground. Four officers restrained and handcuffed him. Video recordings from the body-worn cameras captured this encounter. During the encounter, Mr. Dolceamore became unresponsive. Police officers and emergency medical personnel attempted to provide medical assistance to Mr. Dolceamore, and he was transported to St. Francis Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased at 12:40 p.m.
An autopsy was performed and the medical examiner concluded the manner of death was homicide and the cause of death was “methamphetamine intoxication with physical restraint and chest-wall restriction.” The toxicology results showed toxic to lethal ranges of methamphetamine and Buprenorphine, a synthetic opioid, in his system at the time of death. A finding of “homicide” by the medical examiner indicates that another person or persons contributed to the death. It does not establish criminal liability or determine whether the actions of the other persons were legally justified.
A 2019 law, P.L. 2019, c. 1, requires the Attorney General’s Office to conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. It requires that all such investigations be presented to a grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved.
A conflicts check was conducted pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and no actual or potential conflict of interest was found involving any individual assigned to the investigation. Prior to presentation to the grand jury, the investigation was reviewed by OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher in accordance with the policies and procedures established for these presentations in the SOPs.
At the conclusion of these investigations, pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and SOPs, OPIA determines whether any principal should be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for administrative review in accordance with the AG’s Internal Affairs Policy & Procedures. OPIA monitors any resulting review and takes such actions as are necessary to ensure that the review is completed in a timely fashion, and that appropriate actions are taken based on the results of the review.
The Independent Prosecutor Directive is posted on the Attorney General’s website at this link:
OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A female bicyclist from Ocean Township has died as the result of a motor-vehicle crash in the same town, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced on Wednesday.
On Friday, December 9, 2022, at approximately 8:29 a.m., Ocean Township Police Department responded to a crash involving a box truck and a bicyclist in the intersection of Roller and Deal roads. A preliminary investigation revealed that a 33-year-old male Keyport resident was travelling southbound on Roller Road in a 2017 Ford E-350 Econoline Box Truck when he stopped at a red light at the intersection of Deal Road. At that same time, a bicyclist, later identified as Li Wang, 62, was riding her Schwinn bicycle on the sidewalk of Roller Road and stopped for the red light at the intersection of Deal Road.
When the light turned green, the driver of the box truck executed a left-hand turn onto Deal Road; at the same time, Li Wang proceeded to ride across the street in the marked crosswalk. As a result, the driver of the box truck collided with Wang, causing her to land off her bicycle, approximately 25 yards east of the crosswalk.
Wang was transported to a local hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased at 10:14 a.m. on December 9, 2022.
The driver of the box truck was uninjured in the crash. No summonses have been issued for the crash at this time.
The crash remains under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Serious Collision Analysis Response Team (SCART), and the Ocean Township Police Department.
Anyone who witnessed the crash or has information to assist the investigative team is urged to call MCPO Detective Brian Boryszewski at 800-533-7443 or Ocean Township Police Department Sergeant Alisa Marinez at 732-531-1800.
TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–As part of its mission to instill light and joy in the communities they serve this holiday season, Ocean County law enforcement officials gathered on Wednesday at Steals & Deals in Toms River to collect holiday gifts that will be distributed to needy children across the county.
Arranged by the National Chaplains Association, a nonprofit organization that works tireless around the country to cultivate relationships between communities and their local law enforcement agencies, the toy drive brought together officials and members of Ocean County Department of Corrections PBA 258, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, all of whom had one mission: sharing happiness and love with the communities they cherish.
The toys were sponsored by Steals & Deals proprietors Dave Rothenberg and Nechemia Figa in a tribute to Ocean County and the people that call it home. “There is so much to love about Ocean County and there is nothing more rewarding than being able to bring our dedicated law enforcement officers closer to our communities,” Mr. Rothenberg said. “The opportunity to spread love and joy this holiday season was one which we didn’t want to pass up,” added Mr. Figa. “Even a single child in need being benefited by this sponsorship would make it all worth it.”
Law enforcement officers and officials attending the toy drive at Steals & Deals exhibited near childlike exuberance as they loaded their vehicles with thousands of dollars’ worth of toys and gifts for underprivileged children. Among them were several members of the Ocean County Department of Corrections PBA 258, whose ceaseless efforts to safeguard the community is often unknown to the communities it serves. “The work of the Department of Corrections to keep our communities safe is almost always unseen, so it is deeply helpful and appreciated when officers are given the opportunity to be in direct contact with the communities they serve, especially in such a positive and joyful way,” said Ocean County Department of Corrections PBA 258 State Delegate Rebecca Roth.
“It is truly exciting to be able to be a part of this, and it is heartwarming to see the community come together to assist those who can use a helping hand,” said Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy. “This toy drive is a perfect representation of the relationship between our officers and the community.” “Every child deserves a present during the holidays, and every child deserves to feel the wonder and cheer of the season. This is just one aspect of our work to spread that cheer around,” said Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Detectives Anthony U. Carrington. “We are deeply grateful to the generous owners of Steals & Deals for bringing this toy drive to reality. Giving back to the community is a core tenet of their business philosophy, and their dedication to it truly shined today,” said Ms. Rose of the National Chaplains Association.
“Beyond the hundreds of children and families who will be thrilled by these gifts, this toy drive shines a light on the incredibly positive work of the men and women in uniform,” added National Chaplains Association co-founder Chaplain Yaakov Wenger. “Bringing law enforcement and residents together today will bring a brighter tomorrow for us all.”
EAST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor Janice S. Mironov administered the oath of office to new police officer Dylan P. Dempsey, who fills a police department vacancy. Police Officer Dempsey will be assigned to a Uniform Services Platoon of the police department.
Police Officer Dylan P. Dempsey graduated from the Ocean County Police Academy in April 2022 and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Administration from Rutgers University. Prior to joining the East Windsor Police Department, Officer Dempsey worked as a Class II Special Law Enforcement Officer with the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department.
Mayor Mironov welcomed family members and police officers in attendance, and stated, “I congratulate new Police Officer Dempsey who successfully passed the scrutinous selection process to become part of our East Windsor team. We wish him a great and satisfying career here, and look forward to his service to our community.”
East Windsor Township Mayor Janice S. Mironov administered the oath of office to new Police Officer Dylan P. Dempsey (center) in a ceremony attended by Chief of Police Jason Hart (right), elected officials and other police officers.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A three-month investigation into narcotics distribution in the Trenton area has culminated with three arrests and the seizure of $30,000 in cocaine, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.
At approximately 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, members of the Mercer County Narcotics Task Force, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the Hamilton Police Division executed search warrants at multiple locations in Trenton. Jason Wilkins, 51, was detained in the kitchen of 90 Bellevue Avenue. A search of the residence revealed 300 grams of powder cocaine and a scale. During a search warrant execution at 739 Roebling Avenue, detectives located a Smith & Wesson Model MP .40 caliber handgun with seven rounds of hollow-point ammunition. Jason’s brother, Roland Wilkins, 52, and Mary Bailey, 71, were detained at the residence.
Jason Wilkins was charged with first-degree narcotics and weapons offenses and transported to the Mercer County Correction Center pending a detention hearing. Roland Wilkins was charged with weapons offenses and transported to the Mercer County Corrections Center. Bailey was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and released pending future court proceedings.
According to Prosecutor Onofri, the street value of the confiscated cocaine is approximately $30,200.
Despite having been charged, all persons are presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.