Category: Trenton

Ocean County Man Indicted For Allegedly Falsifying His Academic Credentials To Obtain His Position And Promotions

April 16, 2021

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TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a suspended senior engineer for the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) was indicted today for submitting false academic credentials in order to obtain his state position and promotions.

The Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) obtained a state grand jury indictment charging Roger Sequeira, 64, of Whiting, N.J., (Manchester Township, Ocean County, NJ) with second-degree official misconduct, second-degree theft by deception, third-degree theft by deception, and third-degree tampering with public records or information. The NJDOT Office of the Inspector General initially investigated this matter and referred it to the OPIA Corruption Bureau.

The indictment alleges that between Nov. 24, 2007 and June 16, 2020, Sequeira created and reinforced the false impression that he had obtained a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from La Salle University. Sequeira allegedly submitted to the state a fraudulent document that purported to be a university transcript. As a result of this deception, NJDOT allegedly sustained losses of over $75,000 in the form of additional compensation paid to Sequeira based on fraudulently obtained promotions.

The indictment further alleges that between Oct. 22, 2018 and March 20, 2020, Sequeira stole more than $500 by fraudulently taking leave time he claimed was for illness or visits to healthcare providers and submitting false documents purporting to be from healthcare providers to support that leave time.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Jonathan Gilmore and Adam Gerken of the OPIA Corruption Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Peter Lee and OPIA Deputy Director Anthony Picione.

Attorney General Grewal thanked the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General for their investigation and referral.

Second-degree charges carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The second-degree charge of official misconduct carries a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison without possibility of parole. Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Defense Attorney: Assistant Deputy Public Defender Aletha Sheppard Robinson, Mercer County.


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UPDATED: 2nd Shooting In Trenton Today, Person Rushed To Trauma Center In Serious Condition

April 15, 2021 — UPDATED

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 6:54 pm shots rang out for a second time today leaving one injured at the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center.

Trenton Police received several 9-1-1 calls for reports of multiple shots fired in front of 21 Laclede Avenue near West State Street. Trenton Police along with Trenton EMS and Trenton Fire Department responded to the scene.

Police found one person shot in the back and TEMS and firefighters proceeded in. The victim was rushed to the Trauma Center at Capital Health by TEMS with Trenton Police providing an escort to the hospital.

Trenton Police Department Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko told MidJersey.news that the male was being treated at Capital Health Regional Medical Center and is in serious condition, but expected to survive.

 Detective Captain Weremijenko said, “A possible suspect was seen fleeing on foot towards W. State St.  He was wearing a tan shirt and blue jeans. ”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Trenton Police anonymous tip line at 609-989-DRUG (3784)

Story updated with official information and on scene reporting.

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This is the second shooting of the day, earlier this morning another shooting left a man dead you can read those MidJersey.News stories here:

See this morning’s MidJersey.news breaking news story here (posted at 2:33 am): BREAKING: Male Found Shot Dead Near Post Office On Hamilton Ave.

UPDATE: Shooting Homicide in Trenton Under Investigation

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Box Truck Takes Down Pole And Wires On Lincoln Avenue

April 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A truck traveling on Lincoln Avenue took down a pole, transformer and wires today. Trenton Police and Trenton Fire Department responded to the scene this morning. TPD set up a detour in the area until repairs were made.

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UPDATE: Shooting Homicide in Trenton Under Investigation

April 15, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Homicide Task Force is investigating a fatal shooting that occurred in Trenton early Thursday morning, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri reported.

At approximately 1:50 a.m. on April 15, 2021, Trenton police were dispatched to Cunningham Alley and S. Walter Ave. on a shooting in progress.  Responding units located the victim, Kaheem Carter, 22, of Trenton, laying in Cunningham Alley with multiple gunshot wounds.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anyone with information is asked to call (609) 989-6406.  Information can also be emailed to mchtftips@mercercounty.org

See this morning’s MidJersey.news breaking news story here (posted at 2:33 am): BREAKING: Male Found Shot Dead Near Post Office On Hamilton Ave.

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BREAKING: Male Found Shot Dead Near Post Office On Hamilton Ave.

April 15, 2021 –Updated story

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Update–Trenton Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko confirmed the shooting earlier this morning and said information will be coming from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Casey DeBlasio stated a male victim was found shot multiple times at about 1:50 a.m. in Cunningham Alley.

See Original Breaking News Story Below: (posted 2:33 am)


TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Sources tell MidJersey.News that a male was found dead, who was shot in the back near the US Post Office on Hamilton Avenue early this morning. Police and crime scene investigators are on scene. This is a developing story. As always MidJersey.News has reached out to police for official information. Once Official information becomes available the story will be updated and any corrections made. This is a breaking news story from witnesses near the scene.

See updates above.

Trenton Police host “Coffee with Cops & Cars”

April 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

TRENTON (MERCER)– Trenton Police hosted a “Coffee with Cops & Cars” event, Wednesday night. Residents made an appearance at the event to take in the view of some cars and enjoy a cup of coffee, all while getting to know some of the officers that patrol their community.

The event was held from 5:00 to 8:00 pm in the Police Department’s Auxiliary Lot located across the street from Trenton Police Headquarters. Trenton Police Department and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office brought in some of their cruisers, and set up stands with small toys for the kids. Trenton Starbucks, located on South Warren Street, also had a stand set up, handing out coffee to the visitors.

Miracle Autosports brought in a few exotic cars, and a car club also stopped in. Unfortunately, not as many cars showed up as originally planned because of the rain.

This event was great to get to know your neighborhood police, and participate in discussions about upcoming community events, summer initiatives, and other community related issues taking place in the City.

Photos brought to you by Tyler Eckel, Dennis Symons, and Brian McCarthy.




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Trenton Public Schools Hosts Tour of COVID-19 Preparations for In-Person Learning

Return Date for Students Set for May 3, 2021

April 14, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora and Interim Superintendent Alfonso Q. Llano today toured Hedgepeth-Williams Middle School to view all the safety protocols put in place by Trenton Public Schools (TPS) as it prepares for the return of in-person instruction this spring.

“We eagerly await the time that our children can once again have access to the essential youth programming and mentorship that is only possible from in-person attendance,” said Mayor Gusciora. “TPS clearly made a great deal of progress improving the facilities and what we saw today gives us hope that both students and teachers can safely return to schools in the coming weeks.”

“The health and safety of our students and teachers remains our number one priority,” said Superintendent Llano. “We’re confident that the numerous safety investments we displayed today, along with ongoing efforts that have secured more than 1,000 vaccines for TPS staff, will put us in the best possible position to resume in-person instruction and give our students access to many of the critical services they lost during COVID-19.”

TPS has set a return date of April 19, 2021 for staff, with students returning in-person on May 3, 2021. This return date has been set for TPS to evaluate the new COVID-19 procedures in advance of in-person summer programs and the start of the 2021-2022 school year in September.

Several policy and facility changes have been implemented to secure the safety of both students and teachers, many of which were on display during today’s tour. These changes include a hybrid A/B schedule that limits the number of students in the school at any time and thermal monitoring stations placed at all school entrances that will screen students and teachers on their way into each building. Hand washing and sanitizing stations, as well as cleaning supplies, have been placed throughout each building. Student desks have also been fitted with plexiglass shields.

In addition, facility improvements, along with 1,500 air filters, have been added to ensure clean and proper airflow within the facilities. Additional custodial staff have also been hired to ensure schools remain sanitized at every opportunity.

Meanwhile, TPS has expanded vaccine access to all teachers and staff. Overall, TPS has secured 1,000 vaccines, including 700 from the Henry J. Austin Health Center and another 300 that were provided from Walgreen’s partnership with the N.J. Department of Education and TPS.

For an in-depth look at the TPS reopening plan, click here.


Trenton Man Sentenced To 10 Years in Prison After Trial Conviction for Illegally Selling Assault Rifle And Handgun

April 14, 2021

By: Tyler Eckel

Defendant arrested in “Operation Nine Lives” targeting gun trafficking in Trenton

TRENTON (MERCER)– Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Trenton man was sentenced to state prison today for illegally selling an assault rifle and a handgun during an investigation by the New Jersey State Police into illegal weapons trafficking in the capital city.

Barry Crudup, 29, of Trenton, N.J., was sentenced to 10 years in state prison, including six years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Robert W. Bingham II in Mercer County. Crudup was found guilty on May 17, 2019 following a jury trial of the following charges:

  • Conspiracy (2nd Degree)
  • Unlawful Possession of an Assault Firearm (2nd Degree)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Loaded Shotgun) (3rdDegree)
  • Unlawful Disposition of an Assault Firearm (3rd Degree)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (Semiautomatic Pistol) (2nd Degree)
  • Unlawful Disposition of a Firearm (Semiautomatic Pistol) (4th Degree)
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, Defaced Firearm (4thDegree)
  • Disposition of a Prohibited Weapon, Defaced Firearm (4thDegree)

Deputy Attorneys General Cassandra Montalto and Jaclyn Poulton tried the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. They were assisted by Detective Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Gauthier of the New Jersey State Police, who was lead detective, under the supervision of Detective Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Gibson and former Capt. Eric Barlow, and Analyst Kimberly Namura-Benjamin. Crudup was charged in an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Weapons Trafficking South Unit into gun trafficking in Trenton called “Operation Nine Lives.”

The state presented testimony and evidence that Crudup and co-defendant Michael Gyampo sold a loaded Marlin .22-caliber assault rifle with scope to a cooperating witness for $400 on June 26, 2012, on Ward Avenue. On Sept. 12, 2012, Crudup sold a Glock .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun with a defaced serial number to the cooperating witness for $750 in the area of Ward Avenue and North Olden Avenue.

“Combating illegal weapons trafficking is one of our top priorities, because every single gun sold to a criminal on the street can lead to multiple lives lost to gun violence,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Crudup would sell a deadly assault rifle or defaced handgun to anyone willing to pay his price. This prison sentence reflects our determination to lock up the weapons traffickers responsible for the proliferation of deadly firepower on the streets of Trenton and our other communities.”

“Through this type of investigation and prosecution, we are taking illegal guns and gun traffickers off the street and making our communities safer,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “I commend the trial team and all of the members of the New Jersey State Police who helped to secure the guilty verdict and this prison sentence. We will continue to work collaboratively to arrest gun traffickers and prosecute them using New Jersey’s tough gun laws.”

“Criminals like Crudup, who sell illegal and defaced firearms, are doing so knowing that the weapons could be used by people banned from possessing them and during the commission of crimes,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan of the New Jersey State Police. “We remain dedicated in our mission to fight violent crime and will continue to work with our partners to keep our streets safe by arresting and prosecuting the gun traffickers who seek to profit from arming criminals in our communities.”

A total of four men were convicted in connection with illegal weapons trafficking in Operation Nine Lives, including Crudup. In total, these men sold a Marlin assault rifle, an Uzi 9mm rifle with large-capacity magazine, two shotguns, including a sawed-off shotgun, and two semiautomatic pistols with defaced serial numbers. Crudup was the last to be convicted because he was a fugitive for more than five years after the indictment was returned in June 2013.

Michael Gyampo, 32, of Trenton, and Dwayne Haines, 33, of Trenton, were indicted with Crudup. Gyampo pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun and was sentenced on May 13, 2014 to five years in prison, including three years of parole ineligibility. Haines conspired with Gyampo to sell a defaced 9mm Taurus semiautomatic pistol to the confidential witness for $300. He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun and was sentenced to five years in prison on Jan. 29, 2015.

Davon Williams, 33, of Trenton, was indicted separately from Crudup, Gyampo, and Haines. He sold an Uzi 9mm rifle with a large-capacity magazine and a 20-gauge shotgun to the confidential witness for $1,000 in one transaction, and a sawed off 12-gauge shotgun for $600 in a second transaction. He pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a shotgun and unlawful disposition of a weapon. He was sentenced on June 5, 2015 to five years in prison with three years of parole ineligibility, consecutive to a drug sentence secured by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office of five years in prison with 3 ½ years of parole ineligibility, for a total sentence of 10 years in prison with 6 ½ years of parole ineligibility.

BREAKING: Trenton Firefighters Quickly Extinguish House Fire On Hillcrest Ave

April 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 1:50 pm the Trenton Fire Department responded to 99 Hillcrest Avenue for a well involved house fire. Upon arrival heavy fire and smoke could be seen emanating from the structure and an “All Hands” was called for sending additional units for a full first alarm. Trenton firefighters laddered the building and stretched multiple handlines and brought the fire quickly under control. Firefighters are on scene at the time of this report and still working at the fire.

This is a breaking story, please check back for further information including more photos and video.


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Trenton Pauses Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

City Health Department Following New Federal and State Guidance Issued this Morning

After starting the homebound yesterday that uses the J&J Vaccine, the program had to be paused until alternate plans are made. See yesterday’s story here


NJ Department Of Health Pauses Administration Of J&J (Janssen) Vaccine In New Jersey


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April 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that the City of Trenton Department of Health and Human Services has followed guidance issued just this morning by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the N.J. Department of Health to pause any use of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the N.J. Department of Health, the CDC and the FDA are reviewing the data involving six reported cases – among nearly seven million doses administered in the U.S. – in women between the ages of 18 and 48 who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets.

Both the CDC and FDA have said that these adverse events are extremely rare. According to the FDA and CDC, individuals who have received the vaccine and develop abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, severe headache or other unusual symptoms within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.

The City of Trenton has issued approximately 3,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Most of these vaccines were administered during the joint federal, state, and city vaccine clinic that concluded two weeks ago. The City has not received any reports that those vaccinations have resulted in the same adverse effects referenced above. However, City health officers will review their records and contact any individuals who fit the demographics mentioned in today’s federal guidance.

Due to this development, the City’s homebound resident vaccination program – which uses the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine because it is easier to transport and requires only one appointment – will be paused until further notice. City health officers will be in constant contact with the approximately 100 individuals who have just been vaccinated as part of this campaign. The City is also evaluating alternative plans, including the use of other types of vaccines, to still get this vulnerable population protected from COVID-19.

Trenton will continue to administer its weekly allotment of Moderna Vaccines.

Any Trenton residents who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, either during the homebound campaign that started yesterday or the clinic at Trenton Central High School two weeks ago, can call 609-815-2180 with any questions. As per the CDC guidance, any individual who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and experiences abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, severe headache or other unusual symptoms within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.


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BREAKING: Trenton – Reports Of Man Shot In Chest In Critical Condition At Trauma Center

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April 13, 2021 — Updated

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–At 7:54 am, Trenton Police Officers responded to the area of Eisenhower Ave and Coolidge Avenue after receiving reports of shots fired.  When Police arrived on scene, the officers discovered a victim of the shooting inside of a crashed car.  The victim, an adult male, was struck by several bullets while he was driving.  The victim then crashed the car and was found by officers. 

Trenton Fire Department and Trenton EMS treated the victim, who was transported to The Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in critical condition. The man is expected to survive. One source said It was reported that the victim was shot in the chest.  

The scene showed a vehicle riddled with bullet holes with at least four bullet holes in the front windshield.

Trenton Police Detective Captain Peter Weremijenko stated that the investigation is in the very early stages.

If anyone has any information they can contact the Trenton Police anonymous tip line at 609-989-DRUG (3784)    

Information provided above is from a combination of official information along with witnesses and on scene reporting. As the investigation progresses and more information is released the story will be updated.



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NJ Department Of Health Pauses Administration Of J&J (Janssen) Vaccine In New Jersey

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Statement from New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli

April 13, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Out of an abundance of caution and following the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the New Jersey Department of Health this morning paused the administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine across all vaccination sites in the state.

The CDC and the FDA are reviewing the data involving six reported cases—among nearly 7 million doses administered in the U.S.—in women between the ages of 18 and 48 who received the J&J vaccine. Symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets. Both the CDC and FDA have said that these adverse events are extremely rare. According to the FDA and CDC, individuals who have received the vaccine and develop abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, severe headache or other unusual symptoms within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. 

All New Jersey vaccination sites have been told to cancel or put on hold appointments for the J&J vaccine until further notice. For individuals scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine, the Department will work with all vaccination sites to make arrangements for the administration of an alternative two-dose vaccine. We will work with all sites, as needed, to reschedule vaccination appointments.

The Department will await further guidance from the federal government. The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss these adverse events and make recommendations to the CDC on how to proceed.


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Trenton Mayor Gusciora’s Statement on Passing of TWW Human Resources Manager Rafael Valentin

April 12, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora’s statement: “My condolences go out to the friends, family, and colleagues of TWW Human Resources Manager Rafael Valentin, who passed away over the weekend. Given the huge outpouring of support we’ve seen from employees at City Hall and Trenton Water Works, along with the countless lives he has touched throughout the Trenton community, it’s clear his passing will leave a huge hole in the collective heart of this city. I wish his loved ones all the best through these troubled times. He will be missed.”


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Trenton Launches Homebound Resident Vaccination Program Earlier Today

April 12, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Earlier Today the Trenton Department of Health and Human Services is launched a homebound vaccination program that will bring 1,000 Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccines to Trenton residents who are unable to get to a vaccine clinic on their own. City officials and health personnel met at a staging area Monday morning at Mott Elementary before heading out to several locations in the South Ward. 

In-home vaccinations will be provided to individuals – age 18 or over – who are immobile due to underlying medical conditions or transportation limitations. All in-home vaccinations will be administered by qualified medical professionals who will use the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, which is easier to transport and requires only one appointment. City medical staff will wait 15 to 30 minutes with each patient after administering the vaccine to monitor for side effects.

The city already has a list of 400 individuals for the program and is scheduled to visit multiple senior and high-density housing locations over the next few weeks including South Village, Luther Arms, Kingsbury Towers, Trent Center East, Trent Center West, North 25, and numerous residential properties throughout Trenton.

Homebound residents or their relatives can call (609) 815-2556 or email amthomas@trentonnj.org to schedule an in-home vaccine appointment.

Read about the announcement on MidJersey.news here.





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Man Sentenced To 5 Years In NJ State Prison For “Grandparent Scam”

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a Bronx, N.Y., man was sentenced to state prison today for stealing a total of $142,900 from eight older adults in New Jersey using a “grandparent scam.”

Osvaldo Thomas, 41, of the Bronx, N.Y., was sentenced today to five years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Buck in Middlesex County. Thomas pleaded guilty on Feb. 19, 2021 to a second-degree charge of theft by deception.

In pleading guilty, Thomas admitted that he participated in a scam – commonly known as a “grandparent scam” – in which a caller claimed that the victim’s grandchild was in jail and that he was an attorney representing the grandchild. The caller told the victims that in order to get their grandchild out of jail, they needed to provide him with large sums of money for bail. The thefts occurred in April and May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, in at least one instance, the victim also was told the grandchild had the coronavirus. Thomas or another individual posed as a “courier” to pick up the funds at the victim’s residence. He stole sums from the victims ranging from $10,300 to $27,000. Under the plea agreement, Thomas is responsible for paying full restitution of $142,900 to the victims.

Deputy Attorneys General Derek Miller and Aaron Witherspoon prosecuted the case and represented the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau at the sentencing hearing.

“Grandparent scams cause losses totaling in the tens of millions of dollars each year to victims in the United States,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This prison sentence sends a clear message that we will not tolerate criminals who prey on older adults, particularly con artists who scam victims by exploiting their love and concern for their grandchildren. What is more egregious, this defendant callously took advantage of the victims’ isolation from their families during the pandemic and their fears about the coronavirus.”

“Our Financial and Cyber Crimes Bureau works diligently to investigate all types of scams and bogus investment schemes, so as to guard the financial security of New Jersey residents,” said Director Veronica Allende of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We urge members of the public to notify us or their local police if they believe they are being targeted in a fraud scheme.”

Attorney General Grewal and Director Allende noted that the Division of Criminal Justice has established a toll-free tip line 1-866-TIPS-4CJ for the public to confidentially report fraud and other illegal activities. The public also can log on to the Division’s webpage at www.njdcj.org to report suspected wrongdoing confidentially.

Lieutenant Frederick Weidman and Deputy Attorneys General Miller and Witherspoon investigated the case for the DCJ Financial & Cyber Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Jillian Carpenter and Deputy Bureau Chief Mark Kurzawa.

Attorney General Grewal thanked the following detectives and agencies for their collaborative work on this investigation:

  • Detective Anthony Sorrentino, Cherry Hill Police Department
  • Detective Randy Patner, East Hanover Police Department
  • Detective Joseph Zeppetelli, East Hanover Police Department
  • Detective Thomas Laird, Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Detective Nicholas Aumendo, Gloucester Township Police Department
  • Detective Anthony Zamora, Clifton Police Department
  • Lt. Robert Baracken, Clifton Police Department
  • Detective Peter Ricciardi, Boonton Township Police Department
  • Detective Domenick Delucia, South Brunswick Police Department
  • Sgt. Sasha Higazi, Bound Brook Police Department
  • Detective Jonathan Berger, Essex Fells Police Department
  • Detective Alex Burchardt, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Detective Sgt. M. Braccioforte, New Jersey State Police

Defense Attorney

Thomas Carroll Blauvelt, Esq., of East Brunswick, N.J.


Trenton Police To Participate In Denim Day In Awareness Of Sexual Violence

April 12, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley announced that officers and civilian employees with the Trenton Police Department are being invited to wear denim jeans on April 28, 2021, in support of Womanspace Inc. and its observance of Denim Day to increase awareness of sexual violence.

Denim Day was born out of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction of an 18-year-old student, finding that the denim jeans she was wearing were so tight that she would have had to help take them off, implying consent.  The decision sparked international outrage, and as a result, wearing jeans has become a symbol of awareness that what someone wears is never an excuse for rape or sexual assault.

Trenton Police Department employees who plan to wear jeans on April 28 have been asked to explain the significance of the choice to anyone who asks about it.

As annual supporters of Denim Day and lifetime supporters of Womanspace Inc., the Trenton Police Department aims to change attitudes toward sexual assault, including corrections to common misconceptions about rape, such as “Women ask to be raped because of the way they dress or act.” A life free from sexual violence is a basic human right that should be accorded to all members of our society.

We ask that the community participate alongside of us and share their support on social media using hashtag #DenimDay.

Anyone suffering from sexual violence can contact the Trenton Police Department at 609-989-4000, also WomanSpace has a 24/7 crisis line (609) 394-9000.

More information about Womanspace can be found at www.womanspace.org


Trenton Launches Homebound Resident Vaccination Campaign

City Bringing 1,000 Vaccines Directly to Residents with Health, Transportation Challenges Starting April 12

April 9, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that the City of Trenton Department of Health and Human Services is starting a homebound vaccination program this Monday, April 12, 2021 that will bring 1,000 Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccines to Trenton residents who are unable to get to a vaccine clinic on their own.

In-home vaccinations will be provided to individuals – age 18 or over – who are immobile due to underlying medical conditions or transportation limitations. Homebound residents or their relatives can call (609) 815-2556 or email amthomas@trentonnj.org to schedule an in-home vaccine appointment.

All in-home vaccinations will be administered by qualified medical professionals who will use the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, which is easier to transport and requires only one appointment. City medical staff will wait 15 to 30 minutes with each patient after administering the vaccine to monitor for side effects.

The city already has a list of 400 individuals for the program and is scheduled to visit multiple senior and high-density housing locations over the next few weeks including South Village, Luther Arms, Kingsbury Towers, Trent Center East, Trent Center West, North 25, and numerous residential properties throughout Trenton.

This effort was made possible due to ongoing support from the Trenton Health Team, the Henry J. Austin Medical Center, the Mercer County Board of Social Services, Trenton Housing Authority, Mercer County Meals on Wheels and the Trenton Council of Civic Associations.

“As we navigate our way out of this pandemic, the last thing we want is for our most vulnerable populations to fall behind,” said Mayor Gusciora. “If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you. We won’t emerge from this crisis unless all of our residents have equal access to the vaccine, and we won’t rest until that goal is realized.”

This is one of many efforts taking place in Trenton to ensure that minority communities or individuals who face certain economic and health conditions do not fall behind in the state vaccine rollout. Just last week, Trenton finished a joint federal, state, and city vaccine clinic that brought 3,000 vaccines to Trenton’s religious congregations. The success of those efforts in Trenton resulted in the state allocating an additional 2,000 vaccines to the City that were also administered last week.

“We’ve shown time and time again that this City will use every resource at its disposal to get the job done,” said Dr. Adela M. Ames-Lopez, Director of Health and Human Services. “Every vaccine we’ve received has been used, and our efficiency at every vaccine clinic has helped us build a supportive network of state, federal, health care, and community partners who came together to provide this critical service to our most vulnerable residents.”

As always, all residents interested in the vaccine should reserve a spot at the state portal at covidvaccine.nj.gov. and contact the City Department of Health at (609)-989-3242 or covidvac@trentonnj.org.

The City of Trenton Department of Health and Human Services has directly administered a total of 11,800 vaccines, which does not include thousands of other Trentonians that have been vaccinated by Mercer County, Henry J. Austin, area pharmacies, and other entities.

Trenton has had a total of 6,700 COVID-19 cases and 87 related deaths to date.


Governor Murphy and Attorney General Grewal Release Recommendations of Interagency Working Group on Body Worn Cameras

AG’s Office is administering $58 million grant program for police departments to purchase body worn cameras, which must be worn by all uniformed patrol officers by June 1

April 9, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today released the final report of the Interagency Working Group on Body Worn Cameras, which the Governor created by Executive Order 201 to provide advice and recommendations regarding technology solutions to assist with the deployment of body worn cameras by all law enforcement agencies in New Jersey. 

On Nov. 24, 2020, Governor Murphy signed historic legislation, P.L. 2020, Chapter 128, requiring that by June 1 every uniformed patrol officer in New Jersey wear a body worn camera (“BWC”) while on duty. Previously, fewer than half of the law enforcement agencies in the state had BWCs. In January, the Governor signed another law appropriating $58 million for grants-in-aid to support the statewide body worn camera program. The Attorney General’s Office is currently administering a grant program to distribute those funds to eligible police departments on a reimbursement basis.

The price tag to fully equip a police department to use body worn cameras goes beyond the cost of the devices itself, and includes storage, licensing, and maintenance fees. The 14-member Interagency Working Group – which included representatives of state agencies, law enforcement, and the legal and social justice communities – focused its efforts on finding ways to reduce the initial cost of implementing body worn cameras. It issued three recommendations about potential cost-saving methods, and a fourth policy-based recommendation calling for the Attorney General to issue guidance to expand the types of officers who must wear BWCs beyond the law’s mandate.

“We welcome the recommendations of the working group, which focus on ways for government and police to work together to save money in purchasing body worn cameras and the related technology needed to operate them,” said Governor Murphy. “Because of their power to promote transparency and accountability, body worn cameras are a vital tool for building trust between our police officers and the diverse communities they serve— a trust shaken by the racial injustices we have witnessed across the United States. New Jersey proudly leads the nation when it comes to policing reforms designed to serve fairness, justice, and the safety of residents and officers alike.”

Attorney General Grewal will review the Working Group’s recommendations and engage with community stakeholders as he considers revisions to the existing AG Directive governing BWCs. Although another new law will regulate use of BWCs beginning in June, it is generally consistent with the more comprehensive AG Directive, which will remain in effect and be updated as needed.

“We will carefully review these recommendations as we work to support police departments in the statewide deployment of these important devices,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Body worn cameras have the support of police as well as the public, because the accountability they provide is mutual— everyone behaves better when they know they are on camera. Body cameras not only promote safer and more professional law enforcement interactions, they assist police in gathering evidence and serve to reduce unfounded complaints against officers. Officers report that body-worn cameras can even help to de-escalate volatile situations.”

The Interagency Working Group on Body Worn Cameras made the following recommendations, as set forth more fully in their Final Report:

  1. The Working Group recommended against a single statewide storage system for BWC footage, stating that for the short and medium term, creation of such a system would be time and cost prohibitive. They noted that there may be technological advances in the future to make such a system more tenable.
     
  2. The Working Group recommended that the New Jersey Department of the Treasury aggressively negotiate with the five state-approved BWC vendors for an increased volume discount based on statewide purchasing for both BWCs and the storage to hold BWC footage, specifically focusing on cloud-based storage solutions.
     
  3. The Working Group recommended that law enforcement agencies seek to purchase, through the State’s contract for BWCs, cloud-based storage, as opposed to on-premises storage options, provided appropriate privacy and security systems are in place.
     
  4. The Working Group recommended that the Attorney General issue guidance expanding the types of officers who will be required to use body worn cameras beyond the uniformed patrol officers mandated in P.L. 2020, Chapter 128 to include additional officers who are members of tactical teams, commonly known as SWAT or emergency response teams, or members of proactive enforcement teams, sometimes known as “crime suppression units.

Information regarding the Body Worn Camera Grant Program can be found at: https://www.nj.gov/oag/grants/BWC_Program-Administration-and-Guidelines.pdf.

Application documents for the grant program can be found at: https://www.nj.gov/oag/grants/BWC_Application.pdf.

Governor Murphy and Attorney General Grewal thank the members of the Interagency Working Group for their devoted work and elucidating report.


BREAKING: Police Activity On MLK, Reports Of Person Brandishing A Gun

April 9, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 11:45 am, police responded to reports of a person brandishing on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, near Cavell Street. There were reports of the person fleeing in a car towards the Donnelley Homes and the possible suspect vehicle was found near Southard and New Willow Street. This is still an active investigation.

This is breaking news, from on scene and witness reports, once official information is received from TPD the story will be updated and any corrections made.


Trenton Thunder to Host Triple-A Buffalo Bisons During the 2021 Baseball Season

April 9, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Trenton Thunder, presented by NJM Insurance Group, are excited to announce that they will host the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

“After 27 years serving as the Double-A home of the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees, we are excited to welcome the highest level of Minor League Baseball to New Jersey,” said Jeff Hurley, GM & COO, Trenton Thunder. “We look forward to working with the Bisons, Blue Jays, and Major League Baseball to make this a successful season start.”

“Mercer County and everyone at the Thunder are proud to welcome the Buffalo Bisons to one of the top ballparks in America,” said Joe Plumeri, Owner, Trenton Thunder. “Our family of fans will be able to root for future Blue Jays big leaguers against the top prospects from the Phillies, Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Nationals, while enjoying the beautiful setting along the banks of the Delaware. GO THUNDER!”

Mercer County has made this a top-rated facility year after year, so it was a welcome home for the Bisons to start the season. “This is terrific news for Mercer County, our Capital City and baseball fans throughout the region who are eager to root for the Thunder again this season,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “The county’s investments in the stadium in conjunction with Thunder management have ensured that it remains a first-rate facility for players and fans alike, and we look forward to another exciting summer at the ballpark.”

Over the years, Mercer County has continued to make improvements around the ballpark to keep up with Major League standards. Some larger projects include updating ballpark lighting, new stadium seats, new infield grass, and new wall pads along the lower level of the outfield wall to ensure player safety.

The Thunder are proud to support Triple-A baseball this season as well as the MLB Draft League. Additional details will be announced shortly as they look to continue this multi-faceted partnership with Major League Baseball.



NEW: Q&A Video with Jeff Hurley on Hosting Triple-A baseball

Triple-A Frequently Asked Questions Page



BREAKING: Multiple Shots Fired; Cars Crash On West State Street

April 8, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 4:20 pm about 8 shots rang out on West State Street near Murray Street involving two vehicles. One of the vehicles with bullet holes had damage front and rear and was riddled with bullet holes in the windshield, hood and passenger side door. Another vehicle left the left the scene and fled east on West State Street and lost its bumper with a license plate attached at West End Avenue. The road was temporally shut down for the investigation and has since be reopened. No further information is available at this time.

This is a breaking news report, from witness, radio and/or on scene reporting. MidJersey.news has talked with TPD and the original information posted above is what is available at this time. Once more information becomes available the story will be updated.



Photos by Brian McCarthy, OnScene News

AG Grewal Launches “Beta Version” of Statewide Use of Force Dashboard

Members of the Public Invited to Test, Provide Feedback on Policing Accountability Project

April 6, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced the launch of the “beta version” of an online dashboard that catalogues the use of force by New Jersey’s 38,000 law enforcement officers. Members of the public are invited to test and provide feedback on the dashboard, which allows users to review details of any incident where a state, county, or local law enforcement officer uses force against a civilian. The dashboard is accessible at njoag.gov/force.

Under current policy, all law enforcement officers in New Jersey are required to submit detailed information about every use of force they perform or witness within 24 hours of the incident. Over the past two years, the Attorney General’s Office has partnered with Benchmark Analytics to build a centralized system to collect this data electronically. Starting in October 2020, all of New Jersey’s 500-plus law enforcement agencies began submitting data through the new system.

The beta version of the dashboard launched today allows members of the public, researchers, and reporters to view data that has been collected since statewide electronic collection began in October 2020. The dashboard, which was built in conjunction with SAS Visual Analytics, allows users to review details about each incident, including the name of the officer; the age, race, and gender of the person against whom force was used; whether injuries were sustained and if so, what type; the circumstances that led to the use of force; and the type of force used. The data can be sorted by state, county or individual police department or agency. Taken together, these details provide the most comprehensive statewide data on police use of force anywhere in the country.

In addition, the Attorney General’s Office is making available the raw data underlying the dashboard to the public for download on the beta version of the dashboard. The data—which contains information about all use-of-force incidents since October 2020—will be regularly updated as law enforcement agencies submit reports about incidents in the future.

Visitors to the dashboard are encouraged to submit feedback about the site’s usability and accessibility. The Attorney General’s Office is working with the New Jersey Office of Innovation to solicit public input and incorporate those suggestions on an iterative basis, with the goal of launching an updated version of the dashboard later this spring. Users of the beta version are encouraged to complete a short survey at https://innovatenj.jotform.com/210885101519048.

“We are committed to making New Jersey a national leader on policing reform, and our Use of Force Dashboard is a central piece of that effort,” said Attorney General Grewal. “That’s why we’re so eager to get public feedback. We recognize that true accountability is impossible without transparency, and we want to learn how we can make our Use of Force Dashboard as transparent and accessible as possible.”

“To earn the public’s trust, we must seek the public’s input,” said Thomas Eicher, Director of the Attorney General’s Office of Public Integrity & Accountability, which is overseeing the development of the dashboard. “Last year, before revising the state’s Use of Force Policy, we received more than a thousand public comments, and our work was improved enormously by the public’s input. We hope to engage the public in a similar fashion regarding our new Use of Force Dashboard.”

The launch of the dashboard is the latest in a set of sweeping reforms implemented by Attorney General Grewal to strengthen trust in law enforcement. Most notably, in December 2020, Attorney General Grewal overhauled the state’s “Use of Force Policy,” placing new limits on the use of force and mandating de-escalation training for all 38,000 law enforcement officers in the state. In developing the new policy, the Attorney General’s Office sought significant public input, hosting community listening sessions in all 21 counties and creating a website to receive public suggestions.

Other significant statewide policing reforms implemented by Attorney General Grewal include:

Establishing a mandatory 10-step process for conducting independent criminal investigations involving any serious use-of-force or death-in-custody incident in New Jersey;

Requiring that all state, county, and local law enforcement agencies create and maintain an “early warning system” to identify at-risk officers and provide remedial services before their conduct escalates;

Overhauling the statewide protocols for the internal disciplinary process for police departments, imposing new oversight and ensuring thorough investigations on faster timelines; and

Issuing a series of new directives designed to strengthen trust between law enforcement officers and historically marginalized communities, including immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, at-risk juveniles, and victims of sexual assault.

To learn more about other recent policing reforms in New Jersey, visit njoag.gov/policing.

Attorney General Grewal and Director Eicher thank the Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards (OLEPS) under Director Christina M. Glogoff for their invaluable assistance with the Use of Force Dashboard.


BREAKING: 3rd Alarm Fire In Recycling Center

April 6, 2021 — Updated

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 12:35 am the Trenton Fire Department was sent to an alarm at 391 Enterprise Avenue where they found heavy fire a the recycling plant. Just before 1:00 am a 2nd alarm was called for. A 3rd alarm was called around 3:00 am.

This will be an extended operation check back for updates.


Check out and subscribe to Jersey Shore Fire Response on Youtube.

Check out and subscribe to Jersey Shore Fire Response on Youtube.




NJ State Troopers Help Distribute Food To Communities Across The State

April 5, 2021

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Troopers Help Distribute Food to Communities Across the State Recently, several New Jersey State Troopers volunteered at various food pantries to help sort and package food, which will be distributed to communities across Mercer, Passaic, and Salem Counties. Troopers teamed up with volunteers at the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank in Ewing Township, the Father English Food Pantry in Paterson, and St. John’s Pentecostal Church in Salem City. The packaged items will be delivered to other local food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, senior centers, and directly to families in need.

To learn more about Mercer Street Friends Food Pantry, please visit https://mercerstreetfriends.org/

To learn more about the Father English Food Pantry, please visit https://ccpaterson.org/frenglish



TPD Arrests City Employee for Receipt of Stolen Property

April 5, 2021–updated version

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Trenton Police Director Sheilah A. Coley today announced that a City of Trenton sanitation employee was arrested for knowingly being in possession of stolen property.

Paul Bethea, 61, of Trenton, is charged with one count of receiving stolen property.

On Friday afternoon, April 2, 2021 around 2:00 p.m., Trenton Police Officers responded to 675 Prospect Street after receiving a call about a verbal dispute. Officers spoke with the owner of the location who told them that he had allowed Bethea to store property in a vacant part of the building for the last six months. The owner had become suspicious that some of the property was stolen.

The officers discovered that some of the property, including at least two snow blowers, was reported stolen from 260 North Willow Street late last year. During the investigation, Bethea was arrested at the scene.

Officers recovered 168 pieces of property – mostly power tools and lawn equipment – from the location. The investigation is ongoing as the detectives attempt to determine if any additional property has been reported stolen. Anyone with related information is asked to call the Trenton Police anonymous tip line at 609-989-3784.

The charge and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.




BREAKING: Woman Rescued From House Fire In Trenton



This is a Breaking News report once we receive official information MidJersey.news will update the story.

April 5, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 12:07 pm the Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS, Capital Health Paramedics and Trenton Police were detailed to 729 Spruce Street for a fire with a person trapped.

According to a witness who stopped to help prior to fire department arrival told MidJersey.news that himself, a member of Hawks Towing and some neighbors went into the burning building and helped pull the woman towards the front door inside the burning home. The witness also said that within moments Trenton Fire Department arrived and helped remove the trapped woman the rest of the way and transferred care to Trenton EMS where she was transported to Capital Health Regional Medical Center.

Firefighters battled the flames and were able to bring the fire under control within 15 minutes.

Another resident was also taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center for an evaluation.

Investigators from the Arson Unit, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the State Fire Marshal responded to the scene of the fire for the investigation.

One witness told MidJersey.news that were unconfirmed reports of someone cooking on a grill on the back porch and there was speculation fire may have started in the rear of the building.

MidJersey.news has reached out for official information and once we hear back the story will be updated.




Update: Fatal Pedestrian Crash On Route 29

April 4, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–On Saturday, April 3, 2021 at approximately 8:30 pm, Trenton Police officers responded to the area of Route 29 North and Hermitage Avenue after receiving reports of a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle.   Officers discovered the victim, identified as Marcus Drury, a 51-year-old man from Frazier Street in Trenton.  Mr. Drury was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.  Preliminary investigation revealed that two vehicles struck the victim.  The drivers of both vehicles have been identified, as well as the vehicles involved.  The investigation is on-going and we ask that anyone with any information contact the Trenton Police Department anonymous tip line at 609-989-DRUG (3784)

The investigation is being conducted by Trenton Police Detective Nicholas Morgante, along with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.      

See last night’s breaking news story here: Serious Pedestrian Accident On Route 29 North Bound Near S. Hermitage Ave.




Ed Note on editorial standards: This was a horrific accident involving a person and the family and friends of that person were on scene in distress. In an editorial standard MidJersey.News and OnScene news has editorially chosen not to use photos or video that show a body and another objects lying in the street. Another local “news” publication shows a video and photos of the body in the street along with family and friends standing near the scene. There is no editorial purpose to use photos/video like that to tell a story of an accident this horrific and shows no compassion towards the family or friends. There are times when photos of that nature may need to be used to tell the story but not in this case. That publication has no couth. Quite possibly the more important story is that why did the person not use the pedestrian overpass to cross the highway? (if that is what the person was doing in the highway). Numerous people have been struck by vehicles in this area in the past and if they are crossing the highway why are they not using the pedestrian overpass that is right there? Can the State DOT provide additional fencing in the center median to prevent crossings by forcing people to use the pedestrian overpass? This is a tragedy that should not happen again but unless action is taken by government officials we are afraid this will happen again.

Serious Pedestrian Accident On Route 29 North Bound Near S. Hermitage Ave.

April 4, 2021 update here: Update: Fatal Pedestrian Crash On Route 29

April 3, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 8:30 pm Trenton Police, Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS and Capital Health Paramedics were dispatched to Route 29 North Bound near South Hermitage Avenue for a serious pedestrian accident near the pedestrian overpass. The highway was shut down for the accident investigation and it appeared that the pedestrian suffered life threating injuries. Expect the highway to be closed for some time while the police conduct the investigation. A detour is set up from Calhoun Street to Parkside Avenue on the North Bound side of Route 29. Google Maps also has a south bound detour on Route 29 at Lee Avenue. If traveling on Route 29 in the area seek an alternate route.

MidJersey.news has reached out to Trenton Police Department for official information please check back for updates.

No further information is available at this time.


Ed Note on editorial standards: This was a horrific accident involving a person and the family and friends of that person were on scene in distress. In an editorial standard MidJersey.News and OnScene news has editorially chosen not to use photos or video that show a body and another objects lying in the street. Another local “news” publication shows a video and photos of the body in the street along with family and friends standing near the scene. There is no editorial purpose to use photos/video like that to tell a story of an accident this horrific and shows no compassion towards the family or friends. There are times when photos of that nature may need to be used to tell the story but not in this case. That publication has no couth. Quite possibly the more important story is that why did the person not use the pedestrian overpass to cross the highway? (if that is what the person was doing in the highway). Numerous people have been struck by vehicles in this area in the past and if they are crossing the highway why are they not using the pedestrian overpass that is right there? Can the State DOT provide additional fencing in the center median to prevent crossings by forcing people to use the pedestrian overpass? This is a tragedy that should not happen again but unless action is taken by government officials we are afraid this will happen again.


Two Vehicle Crash On Chambers Street; One Crashes Into St. Francis Medical Center Parking Garage, Other Leaves Ladders On Street

April 3, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Tonight around 9:20 pm a two vehicle crash occurred between a Ford contractor van and a Dodge Charger leaving at least two injured. The accident happened at the intersection of Chambers Street and Forrest Street leaving the Dodge Charger crashed into the St. Francis Medical Center parking garage and ladders and other equipment on the roadway from the contractor van. Trenton EMS was on scene treating patients and Trenton Police set up a detour in the area while vehicles were towed from the scene.

MidJersey.News has reached out to Trenton Police Department for official details check back for an update.

No further information is available at this time.


Easter Bunny Visits Trenton, Riding On Trenton Fire Department Ladder 4

April 3, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Easter Bunny was escorted by the Trenton Fire Department today on Ladder 4 along with Engine 10, Trenton Police and Mayor W. Reed Gusciora. The event started around 11:30 am at Trenton Fire Headquarters on Perry Street and arrived around 1:45 pm at Cadwalader Park. The Easter Bunny handed out bags of goodies while posing for several photos before getting ready to visit children again tonight. The event is sponsored by: Trenton FMBA Locals 6 & 206, Kiwanis Club of Trenton, Science Mentors One-to-One and Wegman’s Market.

Easter Bunny to visit Trenton children on fire truck this Saturday