Category: Princeton

Hughes Announces Opening Of FEMA/Mercer Disaster Recovery Center

Weekdays 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; weekends 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at Hollowbrook Center

September 14, 2021


TRENTON – Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Mercer County has opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at Hollowbrook Community Center, 320 Hollowbrook Drive, Ewing Township, to assist any Mercer County residents or businesses whose property was damaged in the remnants of Hurricane Ida. The DRC is open starting today, Sept. 14 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sunday. Residents do not need to schedule an appointment to visit the center, nor must they be Mercer County residents.

The DRC will be staffed by FEMA representatives who can provide information on FEMA disaster aid and answer questions. Again, the DRC is open to residents and businesses from every municipality in Mercer County, and residents from any other county that received the FEMA “Disaster” declaration.

On Sept. 10, Mercer County residents were declared eligible to register for Individual Assistance with FEMA. Residents who previously registered for assistance via the Internet or by phone do not need to visit the DRC, but can ask questions or seek further information in person at the DRC. The eligibility for FEMA Individual Assistance means residents or business owners whose properties were directly damaged by the flooding or storm events on September 1-3 can apply to recoup their losses.

What is a Disaster Recovery Center?

A DRC is a readily accessible facility or mobile office where applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs, or for questions related to a specific case.

Some of the services that a DRC may provide:

  • Guidance regarding disaster recovery
  • Clarification of any written correspondence received
  • Housing Assistance and Rental Resource information
  • Answers to questions, resolution to problems and referrals to agencies that may provide further assistance
  • Status of applications being processed by FEMA.
  • SBA program information if there is a SBA Representative at the Disaster Recovery Center site.

Affected residents and business owners can begin the disaster application process by registering online at or registering by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time Monday through Sunday, and applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information such as their name, the name of the business, address, phone number, insurance coverage, and other information to help substantiate losses.

Individual Assistance, if awarded, can cover reimbursement for a variety of storm-related expenses.

These include, but are not limited to: rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are uninhabitable; grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance; low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance; loans for small businesses that suffered disaster-related cash flow problems; and loans for farmers and other agriculture operators to cover property loss.

Additionally, mall businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in Mercer County are eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the Small Business Administration. For more information, visit

Residents in need of assistance with damage from Tropical Storm Ida may call a Home Cleanup Hotline at 844-965-1386 to be connected with volunteers from local relief organizations and community groups that may be able to assist with cutting fallen trees, removing drywall, flooring and appliances, tarping roofs and mitigating mold.

The hotline will remain open through Sept. 17

Princeton Dedicates New 9/11 Memorial At Princeton First Aid And Rescue Squad

September 11, 2021

PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)—Princeton held a dedication for a new memorial and a 9/11 ceremony at noon today. The Princeton 9/11 Committee dedicated a permanent memorial containing an 8-foot piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center. The Princeton 9/11 Memorial is located in front of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad at 2 Mount Lucas Road.

September 11 Events Throughout Mercer County

September 11, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Executive, Brian M. Hughes said, It’s hard to believe it’s been two decades since the terrorist attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people in New York City, at the Pentagon and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Tragically, we’ve lost many more since; heroic first responders and others who spent weeks and months working at Ground Zero, and who have since died from cancer or respiratory illness.

While 20 years may seem like a long time, we continue to mourn the loss of innocent life on that fateful day. In Mercer County, many residents lost loved ones and friends, and continue to bear the scars of having their lives changed forever by senseless violence. So, every year on this date, we honor the victims of September 11 by coming together in solemn remembrance, quiet reflection and in service.

But honoring their memory isn’t limited to a formal ceremony on or near the anniversary date.

The County’s September 11 Memorial – which opened in Mercer County Park in West Windsor on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 – was designed to be a special place where people can go for solace and comfort 365 days a year. I encourage everyone to visit that memorial when the time is right for you, to spend a few moments in quiet reflection and remembrance.

And most importantly, each and every day, we can honor the memory of the victims of September 11 by embracing peace and hope, and not losing sight of the principles on which America stands, such as tolerance, inclusion and caring. Each and every day, we can honor their memory by celebrating our oneness as a nation and our unity in the face of adversity.

September 11 Events Throughout Mercer County

8 a.m.,  New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; 101 Eggerts Crossing Road, Lawrence Township.

8:30 a.m., Lawrence Township 9/11 Memorial Ceremony; Memorial Park, Pilla Avenue, Lawrence Township.

9:45 a.m., Robbinsville Professional Firefighters Association will conduct its 20th annual ceremony at the 9/11 memorial site on Lake Drive.

10 a.m., Hamilton Township September 11th 20th Anniversary Ceremony; Memorial Grove, Veterans Park, Klockner Road Entrance, Hamilton.

10 a.m.,  East Windsor Township 9/11 Program & Wreath Laying Ceremony, East Windsor Municipal Building, Lanning Blvd.

10:30 a.m., Ewing Township 9/11 20th Anniversary Ceremony, Ewing Township Municipal Complex, 2 Jake Garzio Drive, Ewing.

11 a.m., Hopewell Valley 9/11 Memorial Ceremony, Woolsey Park, presented by the Sept. 11th & Emergency Services Memorial Committee.

12 noon, Princeton’s 9/11 Memorial Dedication, 2 Mount Lucas Road, Princeton, in front of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad. The 9/11 Committee will dedicate a permanent memorial containing an 8-foot piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center.

7 p.m., West Windsor Township 9/11 “20th Anniversary” Ceremony; Twin Ponds Memorial at the Ronald R. Rogers Arboretum, intersection of Clarksville and Princeton-Hightstown Road.

FEMA Has Approved A Major Disaster Declaration For Mercer County

September 11, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes announced yesterday that FEMA has approved a Major Disaster Declaration in Mercer County, allowing individuals impacted by Tropical Storm Ida last week to register at for direct assistance for Ida-related recovery.

Mr. Hughes urged those who were impacted by last week’s storm to register for assistance that may include home repairs, temporary housing, low-cost loans and other programs. FEMA advises individuals who have homeowners or renters insurance to file a claim as soon as possible. By law, FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance, but those who are uninsured or underinsured may be eligible for federal assistance.

“I greatly appreciate FEMA’s response to the situation here in Mercer County, where residents in some of our communities are in dire need of assistance,” Mr. Hughes said.  “And I thank the Biden Administration, Senators Booker and Menendez, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Governor Phil Murphy, as well as our county Office of Emergency Management, for their help in getting Mercer much-needed federal aid and accelerating our recovery process. I also thank our residents for their patience and perseverance during this difficult time.”

The fastest and easiest way to apply for assistance is by visiting or by downloading the FEMA App on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

If it is not possible to apply online, call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone lines operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption or CapTel should update FEMA with their specific number assigned to that service.

When you apply for assistance, FEMA advises having the following information readily available:

• A current phone number where you can be contacted
• Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying
• Your Social Security number
• A general list of damage and losses
• If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster loans are available for homeowners, renters, businesses of any size and most nonprofits. Similar to FEMA, SBA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance.

• For small businesses, those engaged in aquaculture and most nonprofits, up to $2 million is available for working capital needs even if there was no property damage, with a $2 million maximum loan for any combination of property damage and working capital needs.
• For homeowners: up to $200,000 is available to repair or replace their primary residence. For homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 is available to replace personal property, including vehicles.

Businesses and residents canapply at information and assistance completing an application, call 800-659-2955 or email SBA will answer specific questions about how a disaster loan may help each survivor recover from the disaster damage.

In addition, residents in need of assistance with damage from Tropical Storm Ida may call a Home Cleanup Hotline at 844-965-1386 to be connected with volunteers from local relief organizations and community groups that may be able to assist with cutting fallen trees, removing drywall, flooring and appliances, tarping roofs and mitigating mold. The hotline will remain open through Sept. 17.

Tropical Storm Ida Pounds Area, Tornados, Flash Floods, Rescues Made, Deaths Reported

Flash flooding from Tropical Storm Ida’s heavy rains flooded roadways and many homes as creeks and rivers overflowed. Many people were caught in their vehicles in the raging flood waters and 23 New Jerseyans have lost their life to this storm according to Governor Phil Murphy. The National Weather Service has confirmed 7 tornados, in NJ and PA so far.

Tropical Storm Ida Stories Here:

Tropical Storm Ida Floods Lawrence Township 100+ Displaced

2 Tropical Storm Ida Related Fatalities And 50 Rescues Made In Hopewell Township Floods

BREAKING: House Explodes In Manville, NJ

Tropical Storm Ida Pounds Area, Tornados, Flash Floods, Rescues Made, Deaths Reported

City of Trenton Continuing Evacuation Proceedings in High-Risk Flood Zones as Water Levels Rise Again

Trenton Evacuates “The Island” In Preparation Of Anticipated Flooding

BREAKING: “Miracle In Mercer County” As 3 Police Officers Rescued After Being Swept Away By Floods

Governor Murphy Declares State of Emergency in Response to Tropical Storm Ida

BREAKING: Reports of NJ Task Force 1 Activation For Tornado In South Jersey And Flooding

Tornado Emergency Take Cover!

City of Trenton to Start Voluntary Evacuation Proceedings in High-Risk Flood Zones

Tornado Warning

Video Hamilton Township Sweetbriar Avenue and Whitehead Road area:

Video by: Ryan Mack, Jersey Shore Fire Response

“As Mercer County begins to fully grasp and assess the destruction caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, I wish to thank the heroic first responders, the police, firefighters, EMTs, emergency workers and public works professionals, who worked throughout the day and night to save lives. The courage and commitment our first responders have displayed throughout this crisis is awe-inspiring and appreciated.

It is with great sadness that I report that despite the countless rescues that took place overnight, we know that at least two Mercer County souls have been lost.

To our residents who have been displaced from their homes or who have lost property, Mercer County is here to assist you. For those who made it through the storm without harm, I encourage you to check on the well-being of your friends and neighbors and to offer comfort in any way you can. 

Finally, I also wish to thank Gov. Phil Murphy for his quick action in declaring a State of Emergency in New Jersey, which will allow Mercer County to seek federal reimbursement for its disaster response and help us begin to pick up the pieces and recover.” — Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes

Princeton: Due to the heavy rainfall last night, Princeton experienced severe flooding and numerous roadways were closed as a result. At approximately 11:43 PM, PPD, PFARS and PFD were dispatched for a swift water rescue on Rosedale Rd. near the Johnson Park School. All responding personnel made efforts to rescue the stranded motorist, who was identified as a 58 year-old Princeton resident. While rescue efforts were attempted, the motorist climbed onto the roof of his vehicle as the water continued to rise at a rapid rate. Due to the unsafe water level and dangerous current rescue efforts were unsuccessful. As a result, requests were made for the NJSP aviation unit to respond and assist. At 4:08 AM the victim was successfully hoisted into the helicopter and flown to Trenton Mercer Airport for evaluation. Mutual aid was received by Lawrenceville Fire Co., Princeton Junction Fire Co., Hamilton Fire Dept., Trenton Fire Dept. and the Pennsauken FD High Water Truck.

During the aforementioned rescue, a second motorist became stranded with high rising waters on Rt. 206 in the area of Quaker Rd. The resident was identified at 30 year-old Montgomery resident. The PPD, PFARS and PFD all responded. The swift moving water flooded the roadway and began to flood the motorist’s vehicle, forcing the driver to escape onto the roof of the vehicle while emergency rescue efforts were made. The Trenton FD responded with a ladder truck, which drove into the flooded roadway and extended its 100 ft ladder, which was used to rescue the motorist.

 .Update...Update to include survey results for Harrisonville-Mullica Hill- 
 Deptford tornado. 
 The National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ continues 
 to conduct several storm surveys this afternoon. The surveys are 
 in relation to the severe thunderstorms that moved through the 
 area on September 1, 2021. 
 Some Preliminary Tornado Information...
 1) Mullica Hill, NJ area (Gloucester County): Confirmed EF-3 with
 estimated peak winds up to 150 mph tornado.
 2) Fort Washington/Upper Dublin Twp to Horsham Twp, PA
 (Montgomery County): Confirmed EF-2 with estimated peak winds up 
 to 130 mph. 
 3) Edgewater Park, NJ (Burlington County) to Bristol, PA (Bucks 
 County): Confirmed EF-1 with estimated peak winds up to 90 mph.
 4) Oxford, PA (Chester County): Confirmed tornado.
 5) Buckingham Twp, PA (Bucks County): Confirmed EF-1 with
 estimated peak winds up to 100 mph.
 6) Princeton, NJ (Mercer County): Confirmed EF-0 with estimated
 peak winds up to 75 mph.
 7) Upper Makefield Township, PA (Bucks County): Confirmed tornado.
 Additional information, as it becomes available, will be sent via
 Public Information Statements and also posted on our social media

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–The remnants of Hurricane Ida created major flash flooding last evening and overnight. The heavy rain started around 5 PM and by 11:30 PM over 8 inches of rain had fallen in the Township. In the twelve hours after the heavy rain began to fall, there were 125 calls for police, fire, and EMS service. Two families who were trapped in vehicles were rescued by firefighters and briefly sheltered at police headquarters. There were no serious injuries as a result of the storm. As of 3 PM Thursday all roads have been cleared of floodwaters with the exception of Route 27 at the Princeton border. Here are some of the numbers from the storm –


WATER RESCUES – 15 people

Between 8:30 PM and 11:45 PM Wednesday night, firefighters rescued 15 people from vehicles stuck in flash floodwaters around the Township. Here are the locations the rescues occurred at –

  • Kendall Park Fire Department – Route 1, Oakey Drive, Hawthorne Road, Shelly Road
  • Monmouth Junction Fire Department – Route 130, Major Road, Blackhorse Lane
  • Kingston Fire Department – Route 1, Mapleton Road, Raymond Road



ROADS STILL CLOSED – 1 (Route 27 / Princeton Border)


South Brunswick Office of Emergency Management Director and Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said, “I want to thank all the police officers and firefighters who risked going into flooded waters to get people to safety. The flash flooding created life-threatening conditions in minutes. The conditions yesterday deteriorated rapidly last evening and too many people ventured out onto the roads. The property damage left behind will be cleaned up in the coming days, but we must all remember to stay off roads when flash flooding is present.”

Tornado Warning

September 1, 2021

MOUNT HOLLY, NJ (BURLINGTON)–The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for the following areas. Check the Mount Holly National Weather Service page for further details.

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly NJ has issued a

* Tornado Warning for...
  Southeastern Hunterdon County in northwestern New Jersey...
  Northwestern Mercer County in central New Jersey...
  Southwestern Somerset County in northern New Jersey...
  Central Bucks County in southeastern Pennsylvania...

* Until 630 PM EDT.

* At 557 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado
  was located over Ivyland, or 16 miles west of Trenton, moving
  northeast at 50 mph.


  SOURCE...Radar indicated rotation. This storm has a history of
           produicing a tornado.

  IMPACT...Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
           shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed.
           Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur.  Tree
           damage is likely.

* Locations impacted include...
  Ewing, Princeton, Doylestown, Byram, Flemington, Chalfont,
  Pennington, New Hope, Hopewell, Ivyland, Rocky Hill, Stockton,
  Washington Crossing, Skillman, Lumberville, Sergeantsville,
  Cloverhill, Gardenville, Sand Brook and Richboro.


TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest
floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a
mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter
and protect yourself from flying debris.

Heavy rainfall may hide this tornado. Do not wait to see or hear the
tornado. TAKE COVER NOW!

Tropical Storm Ida Stories Here:

Tropical Storm Ida Floods Lawrence Township 100+ Displaced

2 Tropical Storm Ida Related Fatalities And 50 Rescues Made In Hopewell Township Floods

BREAKING: House Explodes In Manville, NJ

Tropical Storm Ida Pounds Area, Tornados, Flash Floods, Rescues Made, Deaths Reported

City of Trenton Continuing Evacuation Proceedings in High-Risk Flood Zones as Water Levels Rise Again

Trenton Evacuates “The Island” In Preparation Of Anticipated Flooding

BREAKING: “Miracle In Mercer County” As 3 Police Officers Rescued After Being Swept Away By Floods

Governor Murphy Declares State of Emergency in Response to Tropical Storm Ida

BREAKING: Reports of NJ Task Force 1 Activation For Tornado In South Jersey And Flooding

Tornado Emergency Take Cover!

City of Trenton to Start Voluntary Evacuation Proceedings in High-Risk Flood Zones

Tornado Warning

UPDATE: Princeton Police Have Identified Victim Of Pedestrian Motor Vehicle Crash

*****We were able to identify the victim. Thank you for your help*****

August 25, 2021

PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)—The Princeton Police Department in currently investigating a serious motor vehicle crash involving a pedestrian that occurred this morning at 8:03 a.m. on Rosedale Road. The victim had no identification on his person and we are unable to identify him. He is described as a 70 year old male, possibly of Asian descent, small build, wearing a navy blue shirt, khaki pants and loafers. Inside both of the victims socks were two stress balls tied together with rope. If you have any tips that would help us identify the victim please call D/Sgt. Gering at 609-921-2100 X1840 or Det. Travis Allie X2123. Thank you for any assistance.

2 Bronx, NY Men Busted Stealing From USPS Mailboxes In Princeton

August 25, 2021

PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)–On Saturday 08/21/2021 at 1:56am, Corporal Craig Humble was conducting surveillance of the U.S. Post Office mailbox located on Palmer Square West. This surveillance operation was conducted as a result of the recent thefts of mail from mailboxes around Princeton. During the surveillance operation, a male, later identified as Antonio Urena Rosario was observed walking slowly in the area of the mailboxes. Urena Rosario eventually walked over to both mailboxes and quickly pulled on each door handle without placing mail in the mailbox. A pedestrian stop was conducted at which point it was learned he had an accomplice, later identified as Eric Martinez-Jimenez, seated in a parked vehicle on Palmer Square East. During the investigation, a small plastic bag containing mail that did not belong to either of the males was discovered. Also in their possession were tools used to fish mail from mailboxes. Martinez-Jimenez and Urena Roasario were placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters.

Martinez Jimenez was charged with Theft of Identity, Receiving Stolen Property and Possession of Burglar Tools. Urena Rosario was charged with Theft of Identity, Receiving Stolen Property, Possession of Burglar Tools and Hindering Apprehension. They were transported to the Mercer County Corrections Center pending a detention hearing. The United States Postal Inspectors were notified of the arrest and continue to assist in the ongoing investigations.


1. Eric Martinez-Jimenez 27-year-old male Bronx, NY

2. Antonio Urena Rosario 26-year-old male Bronx, NY

Tropical Storm Henri Floods Area With Up To 8 Inches Of Rain, Rescues, Evacuations, Road Closures

August 22, 2021

Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Henri flooded the area overnight with up to eight inches of rain in the Central New Jersey area. Many people traveling on flooded roadways were trapped in the vehicles and needed to be rescued.

Hightstown Fire Company reported responding to at least 10 incidents with the majority being water rescues. Hightstown firefighters rescued eight civilians who were trapped in their vehicles or relocated to the roof of their vehicles due to flood waters.

The National Weather Service reported that 4 to 8 inches of rain fell from the storm and that Middlesex and Mercer Counties were particular hard hit.

Flooding in the area of Cranbury-South River Road and CR614 Dey Road, several cars were submerged and local fire departments made rescues earlier in the morning. A house and business was flooded near the location.

Flooding in Jamesburg, NJ at the Lake Manalapan dam at West Railroad Avenue.

Flooding in Cranbury, NJ from Heri on August 22, 2021

2nd Alarm At Princeton Theological Seminary

August 3, 2021

PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)–On August 3, 2021, at 5:11 am, Princeton Theological Seminary Security contacted the Princeton Police Department to report a fire at the Lenox House, 31 Library Place.

Princeton Police Department dispatched the Princeton Fire Department and the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad. First arriving Princeton Fire Department units found fire through the roof and on the 3rd floor of the building.

Automatic mutual aid was received from Princeton Plasma Physics Lab Fire Department, Plainsboro Fire Department, Princeton Junction Fire Department, Rocky Hill Fire Department, Kingston Fire Department, Lawrenceville Fire Department, Hopewell Fire Department, Montgomery #1 & #2 Fire Companies and Monmouth Junction Fire Department.  In addition to mutual aid a recall of the career staff was needed.

The fire reached 2 alarms before it was placed under control at 7:11 am.

There are no reported civilian or Fire Fighter injuries.

The fire suppression efforts were led by Fire Chief Thomas Johnson. The investigation is being led by Director of Emergency Services Michael Yeh, Fire Marshal Joseph Novak, Princeton Police Department Detective Sergeant Benjamin Gering and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

 The fire remains under investigation currently.

Statement from the Princeton Theological Seminary:

A fire began early morning on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at the Lenox House. The campus building is primarily used for faculty offices. The building was empty at the time of the fire, and no one was injured.

We thank the Princeton Police Department for its response, the Fire Department for containing and extinguishing the fire, as well as all other first responders who swiftly arrived to campus.

2nd Alarm In Princeton

July 31, 2021

PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)– Early this morning at 4:10 a.m., a resident on Armour Road called the Princeton Police Department dispatch center to report their garage was on fire. The Princeton Fire and Police Departments along with the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad were dispatched to the address.

When Police arrived, they updated the Fire Department that the garage was fully involved in fire and the fire was spreading to the house. Princeton Fire Department Ladder 60 requested the full First Alarm Assignment. Princeton Ladder 60 arrived at 4:18 a.m.

Fire suppression efforts were led by Princeton Assistant Chief Dan Tomalin. Mutual Aid was received from Plainsboro Fire and EMS, Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, Lawrenceville, Princeton Junction, Montgomery #2, Rocky Hill, East Windsor #1 and West Windsor Emergency Services. Montgomery #1 and Pennington covered the Princeton Fire Department. The fire reached 2 alarms before being brought under control.

The investigation, led by Princeton Fire Marshal Joseph Novak revealed the resident woke up and saw fire in their garage area. They contacted Princeton Police Department dispatch center. The origin and cause of the fire remain under investigation at this time. There were no injuries reported. The house is uninhabitable at this time. The residents are staying with friends.

Acting AG Bruck Announces Indictment of 20 Members and Associates of Violent “Get Money Boys” Gang Allegedly Linked to Five Shootings in Trenton

Alleged Leader Charles M. Willis and Others Charged in 2019 Murder and 2020 Shooting That Left 12-Year-Old Girl in Critical Condition

July 29, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck today announced the indictment of 20 alleged members and associates of the “Get Money Boys” or “GMB,” a violent gang allegedly linked to multiple shootings in Trenton, including a December 2019 murder of a 32-year-old man, the attempted murder of a police officer in February 2020, and a June 2020 shooting that wounded several bystanders on Wood Street, including a 12-year-old girl who was critically injured.

Acting on intelligence from the Trenton Police Department about alleged gun violence by GMB members, the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau began investigating the gang and its alleged leader, Charles M. Willis, aka “Charly Wingate” or “Gate,” in late 2019. They collaborated with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Trenton Police Department, West Windsor Police Department, Hamilton Police Department, Ewing Police Department, Mercer County Shooting Response Team, and Mercer County Corrections.

The investigation led to numerous arrests last summer as violence linked to GMB escalated during the COVID pandemic, culminating in the June 3, 2020 shooting on Wood Street. Alleged GMB member Davion Fenderson allegedly attempted to murder a man, firing from a car at a crowded porch. The targeted man was only grazed, but gunfire struck three other victims, critically injuring two—a man who was shot in the chest, and the 12-year-old girl, who was shot in the abdomen.

Investigators—who had already arrested Willis and five associates in connection with the December 2019 murder, the attempted murder of the police officer, and another prior shooting—arrested 10 more alleged GMB members beginning two days after the Wood Street shooting.

The July 23, 2021 indictment charges all 20 defendants with first-degree racketeering. Fenderson was directly indicted for attempted murder and aggravated assault in the Wood Street shooting, and the indictment also charges Willis with those offenses for allegedly ordering the shooting. In addition, On February 12, 2020, GMB members allegedly shot at two men, causing them to crash their car, and when a police officer pursued the GMB members, they allegedly fired at him. The officer was not hit. Those men and Willis are charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault in the shooting involving the two civilians.

“We can and must end gun violence in New Jersey, and this latest indictment reflects our commitment to doing so,” said Acting Attorney General Bruck. “We are using every tool and resource at our disposal to keep the residents of New Jersey safe.”

“The Division of Criminal Justice and its partners acted with a sense of urgency when they arrested members of this gang last summer as violence escalated,” said Director Lyndsay V. Ruotolo of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Because of the intelligence-driven investigation we had conducted, we were prepared to act swiftly to protect Trenton residents. This indictment is an important next step in our efforts to keep the community safe by keeping these alleged gang members behind bars.”

“The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office is extremely proud of major collaborative investigations such as the one that led to these indictments,” said Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri. “When we all partner together to stop the criminal activities that threaten the safety of our citizens, we send a message to these violent gang members that their destruction won’t be tolerated in our communities.”

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to our law enforcement partners and the residents of Trenton to continue to aggressively pursue violent criminals and criminal organizations whose actions far too often have tragic and unintended consequences—like the shooting of an innocent 12-year-old child,” said Colonel Patrick CallahanSuperintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  “Today’s indictments are the first step to ensuring that those responsible are held accountable.”

It is alleged that the Get Money Boys, under the leadership of Willis, controlled heroin and cocaine distribution in the area around the Oakland Street Apartments in Trenton. Willis allegedly gave orders to lower ranking GMB members to carry out acts of violence against rivals on behalf of the gang. In addition to being charged with other defendants in first-degree counts of murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder, Willis is charged with first-degree leader of a narcotics trafficking network and first-degree promoting organized street crime.

Many of the defendants face narcotics and/or weapons offenses. In addition, the 61-count indictment charges defendants in connection with the following shootings:

  • Sept. 17, 2019 Shooting.  Shaiquan Hearns is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and weapons offenses for allegedly shooting a man in the leg in the early morning hours of Sept. 17, 2019 on Lamberton Street in Trenton.
  • Dec. 27, 2019 Murder of Michael Barnes.  Michael Barnes, 32, was shot in the face on Commonwealth Avenue in Trenton on the night of Dec. 27. Davion Fenderson, Willis, Hearns, and Richard Fenderson are charged with murder.
  • Feb. 12, 2020 Shooting of Civilians and Attempted Murder of Police Officer.  On Feb. 12, GMB members allegedly shot at two men, causing them to crash their car.  When a police officer pursued the GMB members, they allegedly fired at him. He was not hit.  Hearns, Dion Battle, and Yahonatan Salter are charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault in the shooting involving the officer. Those men and Willis are charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault in the shooting involving the two civilians.
  • May 1, 2020 Shooting. On the night of May 1, 2020, five GMB members allegedly opened fire on a group of individuals on Sanhican Drive in Trenton, wounding two men. Willis, Shawn Anderson, Bobby Hood, Zaire Jackson, and David Williams are charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and weapons offenses in that shooting.

The state grand jury indictment is posted online at 

The indictment charges the following defendants with first-degree racketeering and other offenses:

  1. Charles M. Willis, 28, of Willingboro, N.J.
  2. Shaiquan Hearns, 22, of Trenton, N.J.
  3. Davion Fenderson, 27, of Trenton, N.J.
  4. Richard Fenderson, 33, of Trenton, N.J.
  5. Bobby Hood, 29, of Trenton, N.J.
  6. Dion Battle, 29, of Trenton, N.J.
  7. Yahonatan Salter, 29, of Trenton, N.J.
  8. Shawn Anderson, 23, of Trenton, N.J.
  9. Zaire Jackson, 26, of Trenton, N.J.
  10. David Williams, 29, of Camden, N.J.
  11. Dahquay Poole, 18, of Trenton, N.J.
  12. Tre Whetstone, 27, of Trenton, N.J.
  13. Charles J. Willis (Willis’ father), 50, of Lawrenceville, N.J.
  14. Fredrick Eutsey, 46, of Ewing, N.J.
  15. John M. Colvin Jr., 24, of Trenton, N.J.
  16. Laurence Green, 45, of Trenton, N.J.
  17. Briana Blue, 24, of Princeton, N.J.
  18. Tameka Flemming, 31, of Trenton, N.J.
  19. Ashley Jones, 31, of Trenton, N.J.
  20. Brittani Mims, 32, of Trenton, N.J.

Acting Attorney General Bruck commended all of the prosecutors, detectives, investigators and officers who participated in the investigation for the Division of Criminal Justice, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Trenton Police Department, Trenton Shooting Response Team, and New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Deputy Attorneys General Cassandra Montalto and Jaclyn Poulton presented the indictment to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Cassandra Montalto, Bureau Chief Lauren Scarpa Yfantis, and DCJ Deputy Director Annmarie Taggart.

The detectives who conducted the investigation for the Division of Criminal Justice are Lt. Brian Woolston, Sgt. Kevin Gannon, Detective Scott Caponi, former Detective Zachary Grey, and other members of the Gangs & Organized Crime Central Squad, under the supervision of former Lt. Brian Bruton, Deputy Chief of Detectives Frederic Moore, and Chief of Detectives Weldon Powell.

First-degree murder carries a sentence of life in state prison, including 30 years of parole ineligibility, while the first-degree charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder carry a sentence of 10 to 30 years in state prison. The other first-degree charges carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison and fine of up to $200,000. The racketeering charge carries a period of parole ineligibility equal to 85 percent of the sentence imposed.

Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Possession of a weapon as a convicted felon carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility of five years, and unlawful possession of a weapon carries a mandatory period of parole ineligibility equal to one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed or three years, whichever is greater. Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. 

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

Defense Attorneys

For Charles M. Willis: Alan D. Bowman, Esq.

For Hearns: Michael R. Rosas, Esq.

For Hood: Patrick C. O’Hara Jr., Esq.

For Battle: Rukiya A. Blackwell, Esq.

For Salter: Deirdre C. Smith, Esq.

For Anderson: Arun D. Lavine, Esq.

For Jackson: Peter V. Abatemarco, Esq.

For Williams: Bruce L. Throckmorten, Esq.

For Poole: Kevin Hewitt Jr., Esq.

For Whetstone: John S. Furlong, Esq.

For Charles J. Willis: Jarred S. Freeman, Esq.

For Eutsey: Andrew Duclair, Esq.

For Colvin: Louis A. Mangione Jr., Esq.

For Blue: Mark A. Fury, Esq.

For Others: Undetermined.

Princeton Woman Killed In South Brunswick Pedestrian Accident On Route 1

July 20, 2021

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–Around 12:40 p.m. South Brunswick Police and EMS responded to US Route 1 near Ridge Road for a pedestrian struck. The victim, a woman in her 30’s reportedly from Princeton was rushed to the Trauma Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. She succumbed to her injuries at the hospital a short time later.

The South Brunswick Police Department issued a traffic alert for a partial road closure due to the accident investigation.

The investigation is still active and if anyone has any information they area asked to call South Brunswick Police at (732) 329-4646

No further information is available at this time.

Welcome Home Ross Colton; First Stop On Stanley Cup Summer Tour In Robbinsville And Hamilton

July 16, 2021

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Tradition is that every summer after the Stanley Cup Finals the winning team gets the cup for a tour for around 100 days a year in the off season. Robbinsville’s Ross Colton was the first team member of the Tampa Bay Lightning to tour with the cup for the day. Ross spend the morning in Hamilton at Ice-Land Skating Center and then Robbinsville Township in the afternoon.

Ross Colton grew up in Robbinsville and played hockey locally for Mercer Chiefs at Ice-Land and Princeton Day School before being drafted into the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning and was in his rookie year when he scored the only goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals clinching the cup for Tampa Bay.

Photos from today’s events:

Ross Colton with Robbinsville Township firefighters in front of Squad 40.

(Ed Note: Some Robbinsville firefighters share a ticket plan for the NJ Devils a number of years ago and when I could not make a Devils/Rangers game for work or another reason, I gave the tickets to a friend of Ross (a NJ Devils fan back then) and went with Richie S. that was a Ranger fan and was prior to him going to PDS since I remember asking him if he was playing for Robbinsville at that point and said PDS– prior to I used to take a lot of hockey photos for local papers and that’s how it worked out. Section 1 Row 19 Seats 1 & 2 on 3-19-13) So 8 years later here he is in front of our Squad

NJ Task Force One Deploys To Surfside, Miami, Florida For Building Collapse

July 1, 2021

WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The NJ Urban Search And Rescue Task Force One has deployed to Surfside, Miami, Florida for a building collapse. The team left this morning around 6:45 a.m. and was spotted in Robbinsville, NJ at New Jersey Turnpike Exit 7A with a police escort en route to Florida.

Known locals responding and/or on the team are: Brad Ladislaw, Jay Ryan, Joe Flynn, Jeff Barlow from Hamilton Township Fire Department. Lt. Michael McMahon, Planning Team Manager, from West Windsor Police Department. Scott Cook, Rescue Specialist from West Windsor Fire & Emergency Services. Mike Yeh, Task Force Leader, Princeton Emergency & Safety Services-Princeton Junction Fire Company. Trenton Fire Department Battalion Chief Dave Smolka, Technical Search, Deputy Chief Anthony Moran, Safety, and Joe Szabo, Rescue Specialist. (list updated as we get it)

Yesterday’s story about the deployment: BREAKING: NJ’s Task Force 1 Called To Respond To Miami- Surfside, FL Building Collapse

New Jersey Task Force 1 Deploys to Miami

New Jersey Task Force 1 (NJ-TF1) has been activated as 1 of the 28 teams of the National Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Response System and will be deploying tomorrow morning to assist with the rescue and recovery efforts resulting from the Champlain Tower Collapse.

NJ-TF1 is deploying as a Type 1 US&R Team consisting of 70 team members, in 21 technically skilled positions, and 10 ground support personnel. The team will be responding via; two crew carriers, three tractor-trailers, two box trucks, five F-450 crew trucks, two passenger vans, two K-9 units, two utility terrain vehicles, and a fleet service truck. A water rescue component of six boats with trailers and a water support trailer are also being deployed.

NJ-TF1 is deploying to a staging area in Miami, Florida. This will be the team’s eighth deployment as a FEMA US&R Team since 2016. The team has past experience in structural collapse from 9/11, Tropicana Hotel Parking Garage Collapse and the Hackensack Parking Garage Collapse among others.

NJOEM & NJ-TF1 continue to send our thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted by this deadly tragedy.

Our hearts go out to the brave first responders who are working around the clock in search of survivors. We’ll see you soon.

#ReadyNJ #surfside #miami #searchandrescue

Learn more about NJ-TF1 at

State of New Jersey

New Jersey State Police

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency

Brood X Cicada Invasion 2021 Update

June 11, 2021

PRINCETON – WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–It has been a little over two weeks since the last Brood X cicada update. At West Windsor in the area of Van Nest Park in the Grover’s Mill section cicadas could be heard at the park and around the memorial to the War of the Worlds.

Driving from the park to Princeton on Washington Road cicadas could be heard very loudly. Near the Carnegie Lake Rowing Association parking lot and and along the lake cicadas were so loud they were reaching 91decibles at times.

91decibles is very loud and louder than a smoke alarm. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regulates fire codes and mandates that a smoke alarm emit a sound that is a minimum of 75 decibels. The average smoke alarm in North America exceeds that by emitting an 85-decibel alarm. The cicadas were 6 decibels louder than the average smoke alarm.

If you have not seen or heard cicadas now is the time since they will only be around for a couple more weeks.

May 26, 2021 MidJersey.News story on Brood X Cicada Invasion 2021

Canadian Teen Pleads Guilty to Princeton University Bomb Threat

June 1, 2021

TRENTON-PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)–A Canadian teen who called in a bomb threat to Princeton University in September 2020 recently pleaded guilty in Mercer County Family Court, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

The 16-year-old male, whose name is being withheld because he is a juvenile, entered a guilty plea to one count of third-degree false public alarm on May 28, 2021.  He was sentenced to a probationary term of two years along with conditions that he perform 30 hours of community service, pay a $2,000 fine, surrender his driver’s license for six months, and undergo a psychological evaluation and follow any recommendations that result.

On Sept. 19, 2020, the Princeton University Department of Public Safety (DPS) received a phone call from an individual reporting that he had placed improvised explosive devices in several locations on campus, including the Art Museum, Firestone Library, Nassau Hall and the Chapel.  The buildings were evacuated and searched to ensure the safety of all members of the community.  No explosive devices were found.

Multiple law enforcement agencies across the United States and Canada participated in the extensive investigation of this incident.  At DPS, the investigation was led by Detective Martin Krzywicki.  The investigation resulted in the identification of the suspect and issuance of a warrant for his arrest.

The suspect was taken into custody in Louisiana on March 24, 2021, by the local sheriff’s department to face charges signed by DPS detectives.

The teen will now be extradited to Connecticut to face similar charges in that jurisdiction.

Brood X Cicada Invasion 2021

May 26, 2021

PRINCETON, NJ (MERCER)–After spending the last 17 years underground millions of Brood X (10) periodical cicadas have emerged. The insects make their way to the surface usually after a good rain and soil temperatures about 8″ under the surface hit 64F.

When cicadas come out of the ground they are called a nymph, and they try and find a tree to shed their nymph skins. Once the old skin is shed they spread their wings and change color as an adult cicada. Soon after the cicadas make a loud noise to attract a mate. Females will then lay eggs on a tree then after the eggs hatch the small cicadas drink tree sap and make their way back down the tree and start their life for another 17 years below the surface.

Brood X will emerge in Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, DC. 

Fore more detailed information about cicadas see the Cicada Mania website.

Brood X (10) emerge from the ground in Princeton, New Jersey on May 26, 2021