Day: August 31, 2023

Coast Guard Rescues Kite Surfer Near Barnegat Light, New Jersey

August 31, 2023

BARNEGAT LIGHT, NJ (OCEAN)–The Coast Guard rescued a kite surfer from a sand bar about one mile from Barnegat Light, New Jersey, Thursday.

A good Samaritan contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Thursday morning and reported that a person was stranded on a sand bar waving for assistance.

The person in distress was reported to be directly across from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light near Sledge Island.

A 29-foot Response – Boat crew from the Coast Guard station launched and quickly located the person needing assistance. The boat crew navigated through shallow water, recovered the person, and transferred him back to the station.

The man said he became stranded after he tangled with another kite surfer, released his kite, and swam to the side of the channel. Both kite surfers are reported to be in good condition with no medical concerns.

A 29-foot Response – Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light, in New Jersey, rescues a kite surfer from the water near Barnegat Light, Aug. 31, 2023. The kite surfer entered the water and needed assistance after his line became tangled with another kite surfer. (U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Carmen Caver)

Pennington, NJ Man Pleads Guilty To Obtain COVID-19 Test Sample Kickbacks

August 31, 2023

NEWARK, N.J. – A Mercer County, New Jersey, man admitted his role in a kickback conspiracy involving COVID-19 testing, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Tauqir Khan, 65, of Pennington, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute for his role in a scheme to obtain kickbacks for the referral of COVID-19 test samples.

“Clinical laboratories and health care professionals are on notice: paying kickbacks to steer tests to a lab may break the law,” U.S. Attorney Sellinger said. “This office is committed to using all the tools at our disposal to keep illegal kickbacks out of our health care system and preserve the integrity of medical decision making.”

“There were many fraudsters who saw the global pandemic as a get rich quick gold mine. Khan and his conspirators were no different, soliciting kickbacks and wrongfully billing health care programs,” FBI – Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy said. “It may take time, but FBI Newark and our law enforcement partners are bringing to justice those who stole money that wasn’t intended for their bank accounts.”

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

Khan and his conspirators solicited kickbacks in exchange for providing COVID-19 test samples to Metpath Laboratories, a clinical laboratory located in Parsippany, New Jersey, that conducted testing to detect the presence of COVID-19 in samples obtained from individual patients. Metpath paid kickbacks for the referrals of COVID-19 test samples and subsequently billed Medicare and other health care benefit programs for the tests.

The charge of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross profit or loss caused by the offense, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney DeNae M. Thomas of the Health Care Fraud Unit in Newark.


Defense counsel: Michael J. Pappa Esq., Hazlet, New Jersey

165th New Jersey State Police Recruit Training Class Graduates; 149 Troopers Receive Badges at Brookdale Community College

August 31, 2023

Lincroft, N.J. – Today, New Jersey State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, and New
Jersey First Assistant Attorney General Lyndsay Ruotolo, presented badges to New Jersey’s newest
state troopers during a graduation ceremony at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J.

The 165ᵗʰ New Jersey State Police Class graduated 141 men and 8 women. Of this graduating class,
126 have college degrees, 24 are prior military, and 27 have prior law enforcement experience.
Among the class, 55 were college athletes, 2 were firefighters, 5 were emergency medical
technicians, and 1 was a professional athlete.

The class completed 24 weeks of strenuous physical and academic training consisting of classroom
lessons and practical training scenarios. The recruits also participated in role-playing exercises
such as motor vehicle stops and domestic violence situations. In the area of cultural diversity,
the class received detailed instruction from community leaders and cultural organizations.

The life of a recruit is challenging in many ways. The New Jersey State Police Training Academy is
one of the few residential academies in the nation. Recruits report to the academy before dawn on
Monday morning, and they do not return home until dismissal on Friday evening. Therefore, recruits
are away from their families during significant life events. During this academy class one recruit
had a child born.

The newly graduated troopers have been assigned to stations throughout the state, and over the next
few months, they will begin their careers under the watchful eye of their Trooper-Coaches and
immediate supervisors.

“I am honored to welcome the latest class of brave and courageous State Troopers, who will
undoubtedly uphold the core values of the New Jersey State Police – honor, duty, and fidelity,”
said Governor Murphy. “This class is joining the thousands of State Troopers who exemplify the very
essence of New Jersey’s finest, with exceptional dedication to protecting and serving
those in our state. I look forward to witnessing the legacy they will build upon.”

“The New Jersey State Police are one of the nation’s finest law enforcement agencies and this
newest group of Troopers has received the training and preparation necessary to continue that
tradition,” said First Assistant Attorney General Lyndsay V. Ruotolo. “The class also represents
the diversity of our State. A quarter of the class is multilingual, most have college
degrees, including one member who has a Ph. D., some are military veterans and the majority are the
first in their families to serve in law enforcement. Their dedication to public service is an
inspiration to us all and I wish them well as they begin what will undoubtedly be challenging and
meaningful careers protecting the people of New Jersey.”

“Today marks the culmination of 24 weeks of intense training for the women and men of the 165th
Class as they begin their careers as New Jersey State Troopers. These new troopers will face a
multitude of challenges in a forever changing environment,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan,
Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “I am confident that they are prepared to serve the
communities across this state while upholding our core values of Honor,
Duty, and Fidelity. They are not only role models but, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters from
diverse backgrounds who are resilient and chose a profession of service, demonstrating their
commitment to selflessness. I look forward to what their futures hold as they continue to lead by

Helicopter Crashes In South Brunswick; Traffic Alert: Route 27 Closed

August 31, 2023

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–South Brunswick Police confirm that a helicopter has crashed on the border of Princeton, Franklin and South Brunswick. Police are asking for people to avoid the area. Traffic backup on Route 27 near the north end of Carnegie Lake and the Millstone River.

No additional details are available at this time.

A witness has told that the helicopter is submerged in water. It is unknown if there are any survivors. Google Maps is reporting Route 27 Closed until 6 p.m. A press conference is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

FAA: Only the pilot was on board


Firefighters are checking the water where the helicopter went down. No injuries on the ground.

South Brunswick PD Photo

Image from Flightradar24

Manalapan Township Police Officer Charged With Endangering The Welfare Of A Child, Official Misconduct, Computer Theft, Hindering Apprehension, Stalking, And False Imprisonment

Ruditsky had been sending inappropriate messages and photos to a 16-year-old girl. The investigation determined that the conduct began during Manalapan Township’s National Night Out event

August 31, 2023

FREEHOLD – A Manalapan Township Patrolman has been arrested and charged with engaging in a pattern of illegal behavior involving a teenage girl, Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond S. Santiago announced Thursday.  

Kevin Ruditsky, 46, is charged with second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, second-degree Official Misconduct, third-degree Computer Theft, third-degree Hindering Apprehension, fourth-degree Stalking, and False Imprisonment, a disorderly persons offense.

An investigation by the MCPO Professional Responsibility Unit was initiated earlier this month upon receipt of information that Ruditsky had been sending inappropriate messages and photos to a 16-year-old girl. The investigation determined that the conduct began during Manalapan Township’s National Night Out event, part of an annual community outreach campaign in which numerous police departments countywide participated.

Ruditsky was in full uniform at the time, and after allowing the victim to sit in his patrol car, later that evening and in the days that followed, he began sending her sexually explicit messages and photos via social media – despite the victim having repeatedly informed him of her age. The investigation also determined that several days after National Night Out, while the victim was driving on Route 9, Ruditsky pulled her over, unlawfully handcuffed her, and attempted to kiss her while his dash camera and body-worn camera were both deactivated.

The investigation further revealed that Ruditsky conducted lookups of the victim in a law enforcement database, outside the purview of any legitimate law enforcement purpose, and on one occasion he parked his marked patrol vehicle outside of the victim’s home – after she had refused to provide him with her home address.

Ruditsky was arrested without incident yesterday and lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) pending a first appearance to take place today.

 “That a sworn member of law enforcement would begin to so egregiously violate the public’s trust while in uniform at an event specifically intended to strengthen trust between law enforcement and the public is, in a word, unconscionable,” Prosecutor Santiago said. “Swift action in addressing this conduct, culminating in the charges being announced today, was an absolute imperative.”

“The men and women of the Manalapan Township Police Department are and should be held to the highest moral and ethical standards, and it troubles me that the actions of one individual can stain the reputation of all of us. We are deeply saddened and disturbed that this victim had her trust betrayed by a man wearing one of our uniforms. I want to emphasize that this Department will continue to provide our community with the most professional service with integrity and compassion, as we have always done,” Township Police Chief Edward Niesz added. “We want our community to know that once the Manalapan Township Police Department became aware of the investigation into the conduct of Kevin Ruditsky, he was suspended, and upon being charged today, that suspension is without pay. The Department has fully cooperated and assisted the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office in this investigation from the onset and continues to support the Prosecutor’s Office through the arrest made yesterday. We will remain transparent and accountable to our community.” 

This case is being prosecuted by MCPO Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Professional Responsibility Unit. Ruditsky is being represented by Mitchell J. Ansell, with an office in Ocean Township.

Anyone with information about this or related matters is urged to contact MCPO Detective Gregory Hilton II at 800-533-7443.

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.

Kevin Ruditsky, 46, is charged with second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, second-degree Official Misconduct, third-degree Computer Theft, third-degree Hindering Apprehension, fourth-degree Stalking, and False Imprisonment, a disorderly persons offense.

Wall Twp. Police Warn Of Distraction Thefts

August 31, 2023

WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ — The Wall Township Police Department is alerting the community not to fall victim to distraction thefts. On August 31st, 2023 a motorist was parked in the parking lot of Acme located at 2007 state Hwy 35 when she was approached by 3 unknown actors. While one of the actors motioned to the motorists that something was under her vehicle the other two actors opened the passenger side door and attempted to remove valuables. Luckily for this motorist, she realized what was occurring before the unknown actors could take anything. The unknown actors left the scene prior to patrols’ arrival. The incident is still under investigation.

These types of thefts may occur as an individual working alone or a small team working together. These thieves use some type of distraction as their tool as opposed to physically accosting their victim. Here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:

Stay cautious: Be aware of your surroundings and remain alert when approached by strangers.

Stay in control: Be cautious of distractions and be wary of helpful individuals who claim you have a problem with your car.

Lock your doors: Always lock your vehicle doors whether you’re out in public or at home.

Secure your valuables: Make sure to store your valuables out of sight, like under the passenger seat or under a jacket, or take them with you. Never leave items such as purses, wallets, electronics or other valuable items in plain view.

Park wisely: When possible park in well-lit and populated areas, especially during nighttime.

Report suspicious activity: Immediately contact police if you notice any suspicious behavior or believe you’ve been a victim of a distraction theft. Your prompt report can help us identify patterns and apprehend the culprits.

Senator Michael Testa urged Governor Murphy to preemptively reject any additional bailouts for Orsted after it was reported that the foreign offshore wind developer may walk away from their projects in New Jersey.

August 31, 2023

“It was a travesty when Governor Murphy bailed out Orsted at the expense of New Jersey taxpayers the first time they threatened to walk away. I’m calling on the Murphy administration to state unequivocally that our residents will not be sold out for Orsted a second time,” said Testa (R-1). “Supply chain issues and rising inflation prove that these projects are unsustainable and the cost of continuing these projects will be too much of a burden for our state to bear. Not to mention the environmental damage that has ensued since survey work on these projects began. In the real-world costs matter and our residents cannot afford to be thrown under the bus again for the sake of saving Orsted.”

Shares of Orsted A/S stock crashed 25% on Wednesday leading to a massive $8 billion loss in market value. The foreign wind developer warned they could additionally lose up to $2.3 billion which could lead them to cancel projects being developed along the New Jersey coast.

Orsted CEO Mads Nipper has frequently blamed supply chain issues, inflation, and rising interest rates as reasons for the company to consider walking away from the projects.

In July, Governor Murphy and Democrats in Trenton gave Orsted a $1 billion bailout with money that was originally earmarked to offset rising energy costs for utility customers.

Senator Testa warned that offshore wind developers would be “lining up at the trough of big government” to beg for money in the wake of Orsted’s first bailout, paid by New Jersey taxpayers.

“Recent polling suggests that support for offshore wind development is plunging. Despite this, Governor Murphy has shown that he is willing to forge ahead with his expensive energy master plan no matter the cost to New Jersey families,” Testa added. “If we even consider the possibility of subsidizing Orsted for a second time, who’s to say they won’t ask for a third, or a fourth bailout further down the road. We cannot allow foreign wind developers to continue taking advantage of our state. It’s time for Governor Murphy and every lawmaker in Trenton to stand up for New Jersey and say enough is enough.”

Image from Yahoo Finance


Woman Charged After 3-Year-Old Boy Suffers Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound To Head

August 31, 2023

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Department, Det. Lt. Nathan B. Bolognini provided an update to the shooting incident on August 29, 2023, involving a 3-year-old child that suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Ms. Chante Odom of Philadelphia, PA was charged with:

Endangering the Welfare of a child

Unlawful Possession of a handgun and 

Unlawful Possession of dum-dum rounds.

The weapon was retrieved by the male child was from her personal property. It was not clear if it was a purse, satchel, etc. that contained the weapon. The woman is a family friend and has no relationship to child.  According to Detectives she did not have a permit to possess/carry the handgun in NJ or PA.   

August 29, 2023

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Department, Det. Lt. Nathan B. Bolognini told that 3-year-old male child suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The child is intubated and currently at Cooper medical center in the Pediatric ICU in Camden, NJ. A suspect has been identified for endangering the welfare of that child.  The scene is secured awaiting an execution of a search warrant.  Witnesses are currently being interviewed.  The shooting Response Team continuing the investigation.  

Photos by: Brian McCarthy